Saturday, January 14, 2012

IRONY at its finest

Ok. One day after my elation towards the unexpected publication of my article in Young Blood, my boyfriend and I called it QUITS-as in finished, done. Don't fret, I know, I know, that I've said that like a thousand times already and you're probably not believing me anymore. SHHH! This time, HE was the one who finally let go. Sucks right?! No, it doesn't! It HURTS and SUCKS BIG TIME! I'm at the point where I can no longer say sorry and beg for another chance because HE doesn't love me anymore and there is totally nothing I can do about that. It's just so freakin OFF because yesterday I was at the peak of my happiness. I was all smiles the whole day. and a while ago, I probably just gotten rid of a a thousand ml worth of tears. Oh God. Help me deal with this. :(

Is this What I Want? my lucky PDI Young Blood article:)

(hey guys, this is the copy of my article entitled "IS THIS WHAT I WANT?" which was published in the Young Blood section of Philippine Daily Inquirer last January 12, 2012. I hope you would take time to read:) i posted the link at the bottom just in case you feel like reading it on PDI's site :) thank you PDI people for this very rare opportunity!)

At 25, I am still young. And I am in the Middle East. Every morning when I wake up, I try to convince myself that this is what I want. By “this” I mean being an overseas Filipino worker.

Before I left the country, which must have 100 nurses per square kilometer, I had a job that most of the jobless nurses I knew wanted. I was a staff nurse in one of the best—if not the best—hospitals and the newest of its kind in the Philippines. Talk about the highest standards of care, excellent customer service, high-end equipment, sophisticated structure, excellent human resources support, and of course, prestige, they have it. To top that, I was assigned to one of its critical care units and surrounded with people who learned, made decisions, cared for patients, complained, worked and had fun with me. If I were in someone else’s place, I would have been envious of what I had, minus all the setbacks that we encountered in the process of revving up our unit operations. Because it was a newly opened health care provider, almost every single thing had to be thought out thoroughly and decided upon: from the policies and the protocols and down to free shuttle services. Hence, to say that we had pressure and stress levels reaching the red marks to cope up with ever-changing practices would be an understatement. I was happy with my colleagues and the kind of work I had, but I lacked the strength to face the minor hitches that bugged us every now and then. I was able to keep my love for the job for quite a while and then came the “quarter-life crisis” that dissolved whatever was left of my motivation to stay.

I read about it in a magazine neatly tucked in one of our desk drawers. I am not an avid magazine reader (except for those which feature Angel Locsin) but that one probably had some kind of magnet in it. After disappointingly answering more yeses than no’s, I felt that the columnist was probably thinking about me when he was writing his piece. The fact about me being in my mid-twenties, earning a so-so salary, unmarried and still at an entry-level job hit me squarely.

Right after reading the article, I decided that I had to leave my job. It didn’t matter whether I would go abroad or end up going home. All that mattered was that I leave.

Applications for new job opportunities were sent, homebound tickets (MNL-DVO) were bought, and a resignation letter was prepared. After a series of rejections and a few bouts of frustrations, a God-sent offer finally found its way to me. “This is it!” I thought. I resigned and accomplished requirements needed for the job in the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia, the only thing that was clear about the job opening. I had no idea where exactly in the kingdom I was going and to what nursing unit I would be assigned.

So here I am, in one area of Saudi Arabia that is so far that if we were allowed to do so, we could reach Yemen by land in three hours. It is so far from the heart of the country that if Riyadh were Manila, I would be writing this in the middle of the Celebes Sea.

Don’t ask me about homesickness because I have been homesick for about three to four years already. Ask me about culture shock, adaptation and the million surprises that faced me during my first few days here.

It is a cliché, but working outside one’s homeland isn’t easy and is never a privilege. For others, leaving the country was a necessity because they have families to feed, offsprings to send to school and debts to pay. For me, it was nothing more than a very risky option. I am single. My mother, thankfully, still has the means to provide for our family. I don’t have a heavy debt burden. And I had a stable job in Manila. I could have stayed in if I wanted to, but I chose not to. The quarter-life crisis cast shadows on the path towards my dreams and I needed to get through those dark silhouettes in order to reach them. I thought (and I am still thinking) that this was the best way to do it.

If I can resist the temptation to buy extra food and modern gadgets, money will never be an issue because my salary comes tax-free, food and water are free, I have no electricity bills to pay, and there are no malls to visit. Sounds fun, huh? Fun indeed, except for a few facts that most hopefuls back home underestimate.

For one thing, there’s discrimination. Foreigners against Filipinos—that is to be expected. But there’s also that kind where Filipinos discriminate against fellow Juans and Juanas. There is very limited freedom to speak, to write, to act, to work and to enjoy the way you want to. In adversities, you can only count on your own self because you never know who among those around you would care, listen and do something to keep your trust. Plus, you will miss all the weddings, fiestas, hangouts, birthday celebrations, Christmas parties, out-of-town trips and many other pleasures you can share with your friends and family back home. These and many other difficulties keep me wondering if leaving everything behind, including my previous job, was worth it.

I realize that my job is a blessing. The good friends I met here are blessings, too. The salary I receive every month is a blessing. The learning and experience I get every working day are blessings. All the hard work has paid off and every day I thank God for all of these, and especially for answering my prayers. After all, at 25 and in the middle of a quarter-life crisis, this is what I want.

But again, is this really what I want?

Thea Angelie Braga, 25, is an NICU nurse at Sharourah General Hospital, KSA

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

colouring your hair the sharourah way

one of my friends needed to have her hair colored a bit brownish but since there's nothing like David's here, they decided to make a pseudoparlor out of our humble room.
i've been watching them for quite a while now and i kind of learned the basics. however, i have not the slightest interest on having my own mane dyed so opted to just write the steps instead:

step 1:
buy a hair color of your choice..

(theirs was CLAIROL NICE n EASY #45, don't ask me what it'll look like coz the user doesn't know either..hehe)

step 2

get a trash bag
and make an improvised
gown or sando (this will serve as your clothes' awesome protection from stubborn dye stains)

step 3

comb your hair and divide it into on each side and the third one on the back..use plastic blue ties for aesthetic purposes:)

it will look like this

step 4

wear the improvised gown

step 5

ask a good friend (and by that i mean the kind of good friend which wouldn't mind inhaling the strong vapor and the waiting hours) to don gloves and apply the solutions on your hair

good friend:

step 6

follow the instructions on your product leaflet...wahahaahahaha:)

after carefully and faithfully following what's written there, tadannnnnnn!!!you now have a hair shade 2 or 3 tones lighter or darker than your normal color:)


1. during the procedure, do not ever forget to turn the volume of the laptop up coz the good friend might not hear what bruno and sir manuel altamira is

2. jack en poy will be helpful. by that, you wouldn't have to argue with your good friend on the amount of dye to be applied, the thickness of hair per application, and the sequence of the procedure..

3. make sure your comfort room is clean...hehe:)

Friday, August 12, 2011

please return my wallet

huhu. I am Thea Angelie Braga. I lost my wallet this afternoon. If you happen to find it or know someone who has it by sudden twist of fate, please call me or text me on this number..09172016392.. u may keep the money there but please return my IDs. I need them badly..huhu

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Don't Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road your trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must but don't you quit.

Success is failure inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar.
So, stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things go wrong that you mustn't quit.

I really do not know if twas the culprit behind my very quick change of mind.
When I received it from Krizia last Christmas,
I really thought that it was one of my friend's pathetic attempts to keep me from quitting.
I was very sure then. Like 92.58% sure.
Then I made a quick swerve and opted to save cowing for later.
If it did its purpose, thanks to her.
If I made a swift turn out of another reason, thanks to her still.
But you know I'm not thankful that I didn't quit.
and for you to understand, you must know how it feels like to be dragging yourself to work every effin day, 5 times a week.
unsure every single time what drastic and very disturbing scenario might occur in eight hours.
Every working day gives me fright.
Every waking time makes me anxious.
But maybe they were all right.
That it wasn't the right time.
I'm just thankful that I gave myself more time to think things over and that I still have my friends and my family and my 15-30 blessings.
However, after reading it for the 3rd time, I realized that somehow, whoever wrote it was right.
Might not be for my last dilemma but for the events in my life in the previous years, it somehow made its point.
Not once in my life did I decide to quit.
Since I graduated from that school we call SPC, everything turned out the way it wasn't planned.
Every decision I made was done if not on impulse, out of somebody else's influence and ideas.
I wasn't sure what I wanted so I had to ask people for answers and then strive hard to prove them that they were right.
I was kind of good at that, working hard so I wouldn't fail them.
But believe me, working hard and striving hard to reach your goals even if they were inspired ones, wasn't easy. Well, of course because if it were, it would have been called striving easy and working easy. idiot, geli.
Anyway, for someone who had everything new: support system, means of transportation, language, food, ideals, place, laughter sources, surroundings..etc, believe me, it wasn't a walk in the park.
I had to gather extra strength to push me into doing what I was supposed to do and everytime I felt that the world is making things really difficult for me, quitting was my ready answer.
Not once did my cousins hear me say "I'm quitting".
Not once did ate jane and ate fe hear me say "This is it, I'm really quitting".
And not once did I save in my blog drafts the words "I can't do this anymore".
But almost all those times, I ended up not doing so.
And everytime I decided not to or wait for the right time to, something better and unexpected would always come along. Good timing is all it takes.
So yeah, the freak who made this poem must be really right.
I had a taste of Life's sweet nothings because I didn't quit at the wrong time.=)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

His Love in Us

like what most of my friends know, this guy has been God's answer to my prayer (although technically, he's actually quite more than what I wished for). as far as I can remember, I was in deep emotional trouble when I asked God to keep me single so I could spare myself from another heartache ( simply because I was sure I was going to finally breakdown on the next one) . but of course, it came out with a bargain, which more or less, went like this:
"but Lord, if you have someone saved for me who isn't like the 78% of the total male population who in one way or another, hurt me, my friends, my neighbors and all the gurls in the world, I might reconsider."
and when this guy came along, I indeed reconsidered. thank heavens for the wonderful midyear gift..=)
So when this guy asked me to make a Prayer for both of us, I agreed even though I didn't know how to. Then I came up with this and he printed, framed and gave it to me as one of his Christmas gifts last year.
and because I only bought push pins this afternoon, the long been planned hanging has been finally implemented.
there. on my wall. the just-hung-but-already-a-year-old gift from my boo=)

"We pray to you our loving father in thanksgiving for the wonderful blessing that You have bestowed upon the two of us.
We owe you dear God the wonderful years of friendship and the blissful months of love that we've shared.
We humbly ask that you keep us united in love and faith and may you impart in us everyday the spirit of understanding, patience, respect and affection.
Shun us away from misunderstandings, pride, jealousy and bitterness and in times when these negativities can't be avoided, instill in us forgiveness, humility and peace.
Bless our eyes Lord, so that we may always see each other as an inspiration and we that we may always find happiness in each other's company.
Bless our minds so that we may always think of each other as a source of hope and fulfillment.
Bless our mouths so we may not speak ill of each other and that we only utter words of happiness and encouragement.
Bless our ears so that we may always listen to what the other has to say.
Bless our hands so that we may always remember to take good care of each other.
and lastly, bless our hearts so that we may always love each other no matter what happens and that we may always put you in the center of our relationship.
Give us the wisdom Father so we may not consider distance an obstacle to us.
We pray in Your glory and these we all ask in the name of Jesus, Your Son. Amen."

and so far, we've been so blessed..=)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

love actually

Jane harris to Cal Langdon:

“You distrust all women because of what one of them did to you.And that’s made you take this anti-marriage stance. But it’s not marriage that’s the problem.It’s ditzes like your ex who don’t take it seriously or get hitched for the wrong reasons or whatever. Don’t blame the institution of marriage for Valerie cheating on you. It wasn’t marriage that made her cheat. She was just a ho.”

I stumbled through this and thought that this might help you go easy on your man-hating campaign.
In your case however, the ex was a male ho. So you kinda have to twist the statement a lil and think that you're the female Cal Langdon.=0
I don't know.
I still believe that someday, someone's gonna love you(thanks nina for the words..hehe)
seriously and make you believe that love indeed exists.
I'm not telling you out of my own experience because you're right, what can a one year and a half old relationship prove?!
I was once hurt too and I admit I swore I'd never trust any guy again because they all walk with "womanizer" stamped on their foreheads.
But I met people who made me believe otherwise.
My friends at work have "to die for" relationships.
My male cousins have Long-term happy love affairs. (kudos to the three of them)
My female cousins have knee-wobbling love stories.
Maimai and John are so much in love.
Sir Arnel and Sir Chris love their wives very much.
My grandparents take care of each other in a very cute manner.
My bestfriend is head-over-heels in love with Kate.
Danreb has "mami" written all over his page.
I have friends who are in their 5th, 6th, 7th year together..
A lot of friends post statuses in FB telling the whole world who lucky they are to have their partners.
I still think that you deserve a chance to believe that people can be monogamous(for married ones) or loyal/faithful (for not yet married ones) to their partners.
Can't help it. I'm surrounded by couples who perfectly personify the characters I see in romcom flicks and in telenovelas. The ones that make me sob and go "aww..when will I ever meet this kind of guy?!"

Maybe, it's really not love that's the problem. Maybe it's those people who fall short in proving that they're in love.

Monday, November 8, 2010

my long overdue post

this was my gift for him last month. I was so hyped about his coming over to Manila to celebrate with me that I totally forgot about that day being our monthsary. lawl. With adrenalin flooding my veins, I texted everyone to rescue me from utter idiocy. I asked them for ideas on what to give him for our monthsary to make up for the fortune that he shelled out for the plane tix. Jenelle suggested that I cook his favorite dish(right, like I have all the time in the world). Others said that I buy him this and that so i went like "'s raining buckets outside and all i have are five hours or so. how in hell would i be able to buy somethin without going to work afterwards drippin wet?!". Pressured by the ticking of the clock and the downpour of seemingly impossible suggestions, I ended up with an idea of making another letter. unfortunately it had to be a whole lot simpler than the previous ones because I didn't have the luxury of time. so out of that idea came this one..

Love indeed knows no distance. Adrian Manila, a 25 year old radiologic technologist, flew all his way to celebrate 16 months of love and friendship with his long distance girlfriend Thea Angelie Braga. At around 1am , Philippine time, the guy finally set foot on Metro Manila grounds with treats in hand and went straight to his girl’s workplace, St. Luke’s Medical Center – Pediatric Intensive Care Unit to meet the nurse who he least thought would capture his very hard-to-please heart.

The two have been walking or better yet “phonecalling” their way through the lovers’ lane since last year and like any other couple, they also had their share of humps and hollows. Unlike others however, they managed to overcome these difficulties even though they’re technically islands, seas and skyways apart.

Adrian aka Pakdong has been Geli’s classmate in High School but even though they literally sat under one roof in four academic years, the two couldn’t remember being close to each other. In short and simple language, they led very different lives. They were never friends. They were only classmates-which is what we call people who sit next to us to talk only about group projects or how short the skirt of the teacher was and never about that cute guy who texted or that biotch who stole somebody’s boyfriend. But of course they knew that the other existed like the way GMA knew that Bill Clinton was in the same class with hers in Harfreakinvard Law School. Yes, of course.

They both existed. Fact. Geli was even totally aware that Pakdong was one of the greatest football players in school; that a lot of girls go gaga over him; that he was silent as a lamb; that he was one of the few guys that her goon-filled barkada so hated in Senior year and that he was their eXO in CAT. They had very few encounters that she could basically count them with one hand and a few more fingers. So few that if he weren’t seated behind her in Junior Year, she wouldn’t know that he knew how to laugh. But you can’t blame them, they both had their own set of pawns and queens and kings to maneuver. While he was very busy honing his kicking and headbatting skills, she was on the other hand busy watching her crushes in his team and that tall, dark and VERY handsome guy from another school. Lawl.

His world revolved around soccer and jerseys and knee high socks and shin guards and strikers and goals and premier leagues and world cup. And hers? World was all about looking for her lost thing; who’s leading the flag ceremony (which included but was not limited to rosary,novena,morning prayer, bible reading and pete knows what else could help us save our souls,), angelus, 3o'clock prayer, flag retreat; answering homeworks in school because she had no time for them at home; takraw, takyan, Chinese garter, soccer, luksong tinik, tigso; bullying CAT applicants and following CAT officers; talking about their teachers’ not-so-nice habits and not-so-fragrant armpit scents; collecting amorsiko and talisay leaves; cleaning garden boxes; and again, watching that guy from other school beat her classmates’ asses in the soccer field.What about their love lives?! Well, she, together with a bunch of girlfriends kind of like matchmade him with a few girls in class but he was..uhm..apathetic. SIMPLY BECAUSE HE LOVED SOCCER SO MUCH and his ultimate crush was pretty and was her friend and not to mention was taken (I’d rather not name drop unless I want my neck wrung like a wet towel) and her crush?! There’s a lot so I’d rather not start.

Basically that was high school. For him, she was a nobody and for her, he was a soccer player. And after 5 normal years, 2 leap years and sudden twist of fate, they became good friends. So good that she always reminded him to lower his pride and do something about his problem with his ex because she really wanted them to get back together. So good that she technically gave his number to a number of friends so he could find himself a decent girlfriend. So good that she wanted him to be the boyfriend of one of her closest and kindest friends. And so good that she actually listened to him when he told her that the best way to move on from a failed relationship is to drink. And then she became his mocking subject. Whatever she did, whatever came out of her mouth, he always had a say, uhm no. Make that a nasty say. She felt like she hadn’t done anything correct anymore. He would always reprimand her even when a mob of onlookers were around. He even said, straightfowradly at that, that he could always find a girlfriend easily but he would never court a girl with a band aid on her face and yeah, that was (guess who?) GELI. His guts!ugh!.And because of that, she dreaded his presence, she dreaded the entire existence of Adrian Manila. They both hated each other but for some unknown reason, they always show up in a group together And the very common “first impressions last?”-IT”S BOLLOCKS. Coz in the end, they turned out to be having that romantic eyes on each other. JEEZ (cheesy). And they both did a pretty good job on hiding that psychosocial strength Erik Erikson calls el-ow-vee-eee. And I can’t believe I’m saying this. Lawl.

Anyhow, 16 months ago, after a casual confession, a ragged rejection, a birthday celebration and a deep realization, they finally tied the shoelace. It was very queer at first from a nemesis-turned-lover’s standpoint. What can we expect? From classmates, to beermates, to mockingmates, to friends to lovers? Odd. But whatever they shared, no matter how awkward it was for them, was special. And they managed to maintain that special bond for 16 wonderful months amidst jealousy, misunderstanding, pride, differences, distance, rejection, break up attempts and rumors. And now, even after a night of miscommunication, they’re still together. And to that, the girl wants a toast and she wants to say that no matter what, they’re gonna end up together. She wants the guy to know that she loves him so much and nothing’s gonna stop her from doing so, not differences and certainly not distance.=)

-The BandAid Girl

Thursday, October 28, 2010

kwarter layp kraysis

a workmate asked me to read this article from a health magazine.
I didn't know such term existed.
well, i was aware of midlife crisis but not this one.
"Quarterlife Crisis"
(click if you're clueless)
anyhow, after answering most of the questions there with a frustrating "yes" (because you're supposed to have at least 12 yeses to know if you're struck with such), i felt so low.
it was said that it happens to people my age more often than not but its normalcy doesn't necessarily eradicate the existing problem/s.
so it's just but normal to feel such.
but i don't want it so I don't want to be normal.
I want to be one of those lucky few who mostly had "no" for an answer..
But because I'm normal, I'm stuck with it. grh.
well, they kind of suggested ways on how to avoid the depressing experience of looking at yourself like you're the poorest thing on earth except that you're the kind of poor who could afford to eat three meals a day, one movie a month, one shirt in three months and save nothing at the end of the year.
it's not nice to compare but I can't help it
especially when your news feed is filled with photos of your friends with the whole of europe as their backdrop, statuses that say that your colleagues just shelled out $*** for dinner, gadgets fresh from the box, unending travels here and abroad and I'm stuck in this hospital, earning a meager wage after I've been shouted at by patients and doctors.
Talk about disappointment.
I never knew that I'd end up like this and why I'd taken up my course in the first place.
I wanted to become an engineer.
It was my ultimate dream.
The article says however, that I could still go after it.
yeah right. but may I just remind you that I'm already 24 and engineering takes 5 years and you can get your license a year after so that's 24 plus 6 if and only if I'd quit right away?
poor me.
I don't know what to do.
I'm 24, working in Manila while my friends and family are enjoying their asses out down south.
and my salary?! well, it kind of doesn't exist. in fact, to call it salary is even an overstatement.
I don't know what I'm doing here. I go to work everyday for four simple reasons:
*so I could have something to eat,
*so I could pay my rent
*so I could buy load and talk to my boyfriend, siblings and family who are all islands away from me
*so i could buy myself round trip tickets when phone calls won't suffice anymore..(and this happens very rarely)
I know I shouldn't complain because there are thousands who are jobless.
well, I have a job but it's pointless.

Monday, April 26, 2010