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Positive Pinoy: my personal journey with HIV.

I was diagnosed last March 29, 2012 in a time that I was supposed to leave the country in a couple more weeks. I had my medical exam, and the result returned POSITIVE. From then on, my journey with HIV began.

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What's New?: gateway to useful links on local and international news and updates about HIV.

A summary collection of medical articles, research news, and science breakthroughs on HIV/AIDS, STIs, and other related diseases.

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HIV 101: Basic information for the newly-diagnosed.

Understand the basics, know the facts, and take care of yourself. This section contains basic information about HIV/AIDS.

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Social Media: going viral against HIV/AIDS and other STIs.

The entrance of social media in spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS has gone viral. Famous personalities and the common man alike showed their support not just to HIV education but also with regards to the lives and struggles of the LGBT community.

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Health Events: listing of wellness and advocacy events for HIV-positive individuals and friends.

This section contains a summary listing of knowledge-sharing events on HIV, mass HIV testing, and other wellness events that will strengthen the overall health of HIV-positive individuals.

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9) I Miss Manila!

After discovering my HIV status, I quitted everything. I abandoned my life in Manila. I had a blossoming career in the health care field, but because of the cancellation of my work abroad, I also cancelled my work in Manila altogether.

I can’t say it was a bad decision, though at times I keep telling myself that I shouldn’t have been so decisive when emotions were still high. But what can I do? I panicked, and I had no one to turn to, no one to answer my questions. Thank God for Google, the presence of social networking sites made me sane. So to those who own blogs and write about their personal journeys, just continue writing because at most times, you’ve helped troubled souls without you even realizing it.

It has been four months now since i left Manila. So I made a list of personal things I missed most about it:

top: S&R food-trip: cheese-overload Calzone; my new donut discovery, Chewy Junior; set dish from John & Yoko
middle: Basix at Dusit Thani; Unlimited Sushi at Yakimix; Basix dessert selection
bottom: Yakimix dishes; Basix dessert selection; 7 Corners at Crowne Palaza

  • Participating in Running Events.

I still remember the date when I started running, June 12, 2010. I started with 5km. Others find running boring. I, on the other hand, find it practical. Living near Bonifacio Global City enabled me to join running events. And my addiction to running increased as I joined races in Roxas Boulevard, Rizal, and Tagaytay. There was even a time that I joined 21km races for three consecutive weekends. Hahaha! My farthest distance is 32km.



Since I stopped running for several months after diagnosis, I know it will take time before I start to pick up the right pace for me. So while I am still here in the province, I make sure that I do a lot of exercises so that when I return to Manila, hindi na mabilis hingalin. I do mostly cardio exercises in the gym right now, and I’m surprised that gym goers start young nowadays. Effect talaga ng media. But well, para din naman sa health, so why not. :-)

top: post-Tagaytay trail run; who wouldn't want to run along with these hunks?; La Salle Run
bottom: Men's Health obstacle Run (ako sa gitna); Adidas run with some celebrities; challenges of trail running

  • Out of Town Trips.
Baguio has got to be my favorite place in the Philippines, and being in Manila made it easy for me to access Baguio. The deepest and the most comfortable sleep I had were spent in Baguio. Hehehe! The place is superb, and the food, heaven! And the most mababait taxi drivers can be found in Baguio. :-)

I skipped swimming back in college, but that did not hinder me from snorkeling in Panglao and in Coron (with life vest, of course!). I miss being in the water (with my workmates and mamang bangkero beside me, hirap na malunod. Hehehe!).

With the promo air fares happening every now and then, being in Manila would have given me the chance to go to different provinces. But sadly, I feel so isolated here in the province. But I’m hoping that once I get back, I could travel na with a future partner (fingers crossed, LOL!).

I miss out-of-town trips!!!

  • Food.
When I joined the Milo group and the Adidas group, I was told by some members that a runner’s best diet is the “see-food” diet. Whatever food you see, you can actually eat. You will burn it off anyway, especially when you engage in long distance running.

Yakimix is spelled L-O-V-E. Well, there are a lot of other Japanese restaurants in the metro, but Yakimix is still my favorite. One big factor is its accessibility. Hehehe! Nasa mall kse, so you can watch a movie after then coffee, then boy-watching. LOL! Just kidding!

Mercato Centrale. Main reason is its accessibility (again! Hahaha!). And for the several years of Banchetto’s existence, I haven’t been to one. Well, I wish someone would take me there, anyway. Hehehe! *wink*


top: Xian Tian Di at Crowne Plaza; Gellatisimo in BHS; Xian Tian Di
bottom: Xian Tian Di: Yakimix: cakes from Sugar House and Secret Recipe

  • Friends.
Definitely, my friends were the main reason why I stayed for more than three years in my former workplace. And the friends that I am referring to here are my former workmates. No matter how “toxic” the duty can be, their presence just makes the weight of the situation much lighter. And at most times, it’s automatic for us to help each other in work, hindi na kailangan pa sabihin. Isa-isa na silang nagsi-alisan ng bansa actually, and I’m happy for them. No one knows about my status, although one suspects, pero I just jokingly tell them na pasalubungan na lang nila ako ng Starbucks tumbler with the print of the country they are in. :-p

top: Run BGC medals; that's me bidding goodbye to the Kalayaan Bridge; QCIM run with Boy Runner
middle: fun Unilab event; spot me in the middle pic; cute dog in the Rexona Run
bottom: still from Unilab; finisher's shirt and medal; still from the Unilab run

  • "Alone-time"
After living alone for more than three years, my ears have already adjusted to the peace and quiet of my own place. Now that I’m back in the province, hindi ako sanay sa ingay ng mga kapamilya ko (maarte lang talaga ako. LOL!). But seriously, I remember back then that I would even put the TV off so that I could focus on my online writing work.

Yun lang, I have to pay my rent, my electricity, water, and internet bills. And there’s laundry pa, and transportation. How can a nurse in the Philippines pay all those? Tamang pagtitipid, of course. Hehehe! Whereas at home, libre lahat. Pati stress, libre din. LOL!

I have made a long entry already, but I know there are a lot of other things I miss about Manila. I’ll take a visit there next month, and the several months to come. Most probably, I’ll transfer early next year. My plan, for now, is to spend Christmas and New Year here with family. For three years, I celebrated the holidays at work, and at times with friends and significant others. For this year, family comes first. :-)


Currently have 4 comments:

  1. Then probably you need to return to manila bcos your happier there. i feel that you're a good person,and I hope you find happiness.

  2. thanks tom! i miss manila so much, and i hope to return there from time to time. and when the right time comes (because i also have to consider my family), i'll finally settle in Manila. hopefully, i'll build a great career there. :-)

  3. Hi,
    I accidentally found your blog and after reading much of your posts, I feel much connected, I don't know why, we never met nor talk nor anything, but there is something deep down that made my heart cries. I wish you all the best in your future undertakings, you will be okay judging from your inner strength portrayed in your writings/post...God will always be available for all us..and Merry Christmas to you...for me myself, this year I will celebrate Christmas for the first time in Manila escaping the 'rituals' in Kinabalu Sabah. Keep posting mate, you have got a loyal reader now....

  4. Hi there! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. are you here in the Philippines for work? or simply for vacation?

    I am currently in Manila actually (but only for a week). I'll be home in the province for the holidays. I have never been to Malaysia, but I hope to visit your country someday.

    Thank you for all those wonderful things that you said. Merry Christmas to you too. :-)


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