Graduation, then...

What to expect after graduation?

Graduation, as they say, is not yet the end, of everything, the dreams, and aspirations in life, rather it establishes yourself, a better you, a stronger, giving us enough courage to endure and to survive, as well as continuous determination to achieve and to succeed.

Wow! That is something deep and serious. Right? So what’s the whole point?

Excitement in elementary graduation is far different from college graduation. If you think of money and gifts before, now you think of your career, future and life. You have to stand and begin walking to face challenges and work out the diligence within us. Because if you won’t keep on dancing with these basics of survival then you will get sick and experience major heart problems. That is being so sedentary of you lazy freak!

For us nursing students, passing the board exam is our foremost goal after all these ceremonies on completion. Graduation is nonsense without passing the Nursing Licensure Examination. After this, is entering the fishy job employment, job market and hopefully a job-well-done moments. How I wish!

Many graduates, nurses, registered, and licensed are just stuck – in the hospitals as volunteers and in their homes as future wives or husbands. Some pursued another field of endeavor, probably their first love and first choice before taking the nursing course. This is why I am calling for emotional entrance test in the BSN program. Fail those who are not really into the profession and those who have exceptional talents for the art or other profession. Maybe, I should have a research on this.

And that would explain why skilled and experienced nurses emigrate for better opportunities. As a move, the government discourages new graduates and new registered nurses to work abroad because of brain drain. If this is so, why is it then that they paralleled the wage of utility workers to contracted nurses? Well, they are talking Greek here.

Why would nurses study for four years, allot time for thesis, spend for nursing reviews and even pay for a volunteer slot in a hospital only to receive same amount disbursed to a non-diploma requiring job? If they want sound partnership, they should work on this because it is true that nurses, not only them but all the Filipino people not exercising power in the country, those not in position, the masses, would want greener pasture.

The photo shows a graduation scene from my Alma Mater, Lanao Elementary School. As a tradition, which started a year before ours, the graduates release white balloons – white signifies purity in intention and virtuousness in their heart, as flying balloon represents their unending hope and soaring dreams.

Our clinical graduation!

I apologize I cannot update you with photos during our clinical graduation-pinning and ring ceremony. They have hired a studio to take charge with the event and cameras are not allowed in our seats so as not to distract the program, the solemn ceremony as they claim.

Well, I just want to show you what we received aside from a boring certificate of completion. I took these photos after the graduation.

1. Pin. Another pin. This is already the third pin they accorded to us. One nameplate for our hospital duties. One pin during the capping-pinning ceremony last year. And this, which is almost the same with the latest one. It’s just that it has an attached logo of the profession.

2. Bust. First look - it's like a young Ferdinand Marcos. That famous bust of him. Well, this is a nurses' bust. For us males, this is not an obvious image of a nurse compared to females who wear caps. This one wears a scrub suit. Another symbol, being a part of the health profession.
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Photo Shoot, Photo Break

This is a pre-summer special post.

College life wasn't that easy. Every student has their own issues and concerns.

Surely, money tops these. It's very difficult to budget allowances - for food, school contributions, death aid, school fines, cellphone load, drinking sessions and luxuries. It also creates a controversial aspect in the society as students submit themselves to prostitution to earn for tuition fees.

Emotional distress follows it. Students are involved to different triggering situations. Break-up in a relationship is an obvious example. Students tend not to mind anymore their lessons. Instead, they are at a corner, leaning on the lower wall and crying for their nonsense partners. Another situaton is that when one is forced by his or her parents to take a course he or she doesn't want.  Both of these situations can lead to - aside from having no inspiration - suicidal tendencies.

Living in a boarding house or dormitory can also be included. Yes, it has a benefit. That is, learning to be independent. But there are more disadvantages. Aside from the usual home sick, are the tasks you are supposed to carry out - from cooking your own food to laundry. And when you're febrile and sick, you have to care for yourself alone.

Because of these stressing moments in college, I think we can also employ what we are learning in school. That is to promote, improve and enhance our coping mechanisms - the 12 S in managing stress: self-awareness, self-debriefing, speaking-out, scheduling, stress reduction exercises, smiling, siesta, socialization, sports and recreation, songs and sounds, sensation techniques and spirituality.

It's good we have friends and barkadas too. To laugh with and be partners in crime. Bwahahaha! For us Mae, Cleo and the gang are:

Food. On weekends, we try to meet. Go to one place. Either to a friend's house or just around the city. And have something to eat and gulp. Hmmmm. One time, we had our lunch at a friend's place. After it, we had a singing session. I mean, that videoke fever! La la la la la! We had also this favorite restaurant. And a favorite dish. The grilled chicken. In our almost everyday lunches here, there's no need to calculate for our bills anymore because we already know the exact cost of the foods served to us. And after examination-marathons - well, we call it like that 'cause in a day, we can have three long examinations straight with no break or interval - is a celebration at Chowking. We order lauriats. Plus extra rices. And lot of chili oils. Wooooh. This isn't completed without our tons of laughs in different pitches. Hahahahaha! And take note! We also have gossips and asaran mode in between.

And the other one is...


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Into Lacoste and Crocs

In search of something-new-subjects for photography.

Early afternoon, I saw a scorpion. I was hesitant to kill or preserve it. Choose to be safe or risk myself and improve my subjects in photography. After a minute, I pressed my foot on it. Why? It’s simple. I love my life.

But after doing this, I feel sorry to myself for not having the courage. How I wish I could have one like Kuya Kim (Refer to his Matanglawin show) who is not afraid of cobra, the scorpions, in other words, dealing with the dangerous wildlife. Frustration, it was.

Late afternoon, I arrived in my room. In a dormitory. As usual, scraps are around. Wastes. Spiders web at the ceiling. Stained tiles. Soiled clothes scattered. And an unpleasant smell. But one would get used to it. Tolerable.

It was so hot. Took my shirt off, my pants, then. Nude. Semi. I was craving for tea. Iced, of course. So, I put back my apparels. And went downstairs. Then back at my room. Now, really nude. Hmmm. No, just kidding! My room was so transparent. There's this portion of my wall, near the door heading to the terrace, that is made of clear glass.

They say, I am rich. Because I afforded to have my own room (solo) in a dormitory. But I’m not. I just have my father, my mother, my grandparents, who were there to support me! Actually. We are only in the middle class. This is not being humble. Am just presenting reality.

For four years, these had been a routine. After school. Was relaxation time. Some food. Then sleep. Again, food. Really haven’t cleaned my room. Either, I will call my mom to visit. Or just have a simple picking of garbages. But never wiped those dusty surfaces. I have an allergy. Rhinitis. It’s serious. I can continuously sneeze 15 times. I can't manipulate those dust. It would make me more sick and sneeze. It's like I had touched a sleeping snake. Then angrily hit me after. Or tapped a silent, busy eating dog. Then bite me straight away.

Oh! Then, suddenly. After an approximation of 3,600 sneezes. It’s graduation time! And my college life is about to end. Surely, I will miss it.

It was past four o’clock in the afternoon when I needed some of it - fresh air. I opened the windows. Seeing around. Looking. Finding new things.

Then. Wow! I found this skeleton, this fossil, this brittle spines and bones of a lizard. Where the sliding window runs. Then I remembered, I had a photo of a lizard months ago in the same window. I took it at night with flash so it came as an outline. Indeed, it is interesting to know its history. And what it had undergone.

Sometimes we don't have to take the risk. We don't have to endanger ourselves. Just for the big step, the big break. 'Cause there are a lot more that will come on our way. Nicer things; wider smiles - at the end of the day. We don't have to be greedy in every chance. Chances are of different kind. They are not always healthy. Sometimes, they are good as devil. Let's just think, success will chase after us. In God's will. :)
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Determination and strength: My luck, my charm not to stay out of the game!

It was lunch time, I didn’t pray for the food. Instead, for claps and appreciation. And to rank first in class. Three o’clock prayer came. I didn’t rhyme with the group. But wished to become the valedictorian, then cum laude after high school.

Dinner time. Bed time. All I prayed. Aside from kired ken pigsa (fortitude and might). Were honor, distinction, commendation, fame, name, merit, greatness and prestige.

Glad I really have true friends Christine, Essen, Sulamita and Joanne. Who helped me a lot. Again, to pray. Win things. The presidency of the student council. Mathematics challenges/quiz bees. And writing contests. From division, to regional, and national Schools Press Conferences (SPC).

March arrived and revealed a salutatorian title. I was frustrated. I accepted it. I stayed calm. I know my capability. But there's no such thing as forgiveness to my overlooked, biased position in the editorial staff of our school organ. Bullshit.

Summer sunshine rose. What should I do? Choose to be happy. Pray for the same things. And think of a course to take for college. Nursing. That was the trend before. And I bit it. Although, Journalism. And Mass Communication are my love.

As I entered college, I didn’t join to any organization. I stayed passive. Just in a corner. I didn’t want to move and dance, and just tumble after. I was scared. An after shock after high school. No politics. No intermissions. No confidence.

I tried to excel in my subjects. I topped an examination in Statistics. Got all the questions right. Some quizzes too. 100 percent. I became a scholar once. These, I experienced. But sad. It wasn’t in the whole course of my four years of studying. It was just hard to do well in things you know you don’t love. Well, I made an effort.

I didn’t compete. I just enjoyed. I didn’t want to make my life to suffer. To agonize. And to be bounded in the corners of a college life. I didn’t save my allowance. I spent it. I bought my luxuries. My wants. Cakes. Grilled chicken. Jo’bee. Chow’. And all.

I was so lax in my studies. I mean, I let it go the way it should be. I always came to class late. That was in the morning. But mind you, I balanced it in the clinical by being on time. I even experienced not to attend a class. At least, a minor subject. I slept in class – Jurisprudence in particular. Sorry, I’m bored.

But I found Community Health Nursing enjoyable. I love nature and I love the community. The environment. Every walk, I treasure. The folks. Their smiles. So perfect to capture. The eagerness among them. Their hospitality. All of these – so heartwarming!

Lastly, I gained friends. Something to be proud of. First year, Joan, my seatmates, my high school classmates and the rest. Second year was Dan and Dan (Lol). Third year was Missy, and the group. Fourth year were Mae, Cleo and the gang. I loved them much. I have them in crimes. Laughs. Downs. First, we were afraid, we were petrified. But then, we survived.

And now, here comes graduation! There's no countdown anymore. It's final. And indeed, fulfilling.

But what is more satisfying now is not having any award knowing you only gave a good play than having a secondary award knowing you gave a better play for it.

The photos were taken at Dariwdiw, Batac, Ilocos Norte during a community immersion. The place  would not cause admiration at first... but wait! After trekking it... after meeting the people... after the three days of community exposure... you will appreciate it more... more... and more... giving inspiration in our lives.
The Place. It was serene. Glowing effects around after the rain. Vast greens - the enormous swaying bamboos and their various crops. Myriad of different colored butterflies twirling in the atmosphere. Princes in their palaces and some died as captives. I mean frogs around, dead or alive. Plus, battalion of dogs.

The People. Warm welcome was catered to us. Smiles. Health-conscious. A Ms. Congeniality Housewife interviewed us. Some were busy. Doing household choirs. And visiting their farms.

Their Life. Deep well. Pump. Decomposed trees. Scraps were piled and very organized. There was this folk who walks... everyday I guess... to reach neighbors, and friends. The canteen. Offering affordable snacks, lunches. Banana cue for Php 3. Student meals for Php 25 comparing it with the usual Php 35 to Php 40. One serving of spaghetti for Php 15. Pancit/Arroz Caldo/Macaroni Soup for Php 10.

And what really amazed me was their road. Partially cemented (Refer to the photos). Enough to have a good friction and acceleration for transportation. And not to have a muddy trail when the rain comes.

Awesome place. Practical people. Simple life. 
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San Nicolas | Tribeca Coffee

A cozy-and-comfy break after a cheap-and-cheesy day!

Practice. It entails a lot of hardwork. Patience. Sweats. Then, most of it, murmurs. Grumbles. And complaints.

Graduation. Exciting as they say. And I must say, "Yes! I'm excited!" Didn't expect to be as exciting as this. Well, excitement goes in a higher level for health sciences students, like us, nursing students, with two graduation - the clinical and the mass. 

First stop, is our clinical graduation. Aside from those academics, lectures and school activities, we are also winding down our Related Learning Experience (RLE) activities in the clinical. Duties in the ward, operating room, delivery room; caring for our patients; practicing head nursing - all of these are finishing off, coming to an end with this ceremony, the clinical graduation.

In order to come up with an exceptional program and to observe some formality, we are to practice then all the parts of the program. From the graduation song, the university hymn, the processional, sitting, standing, taking a bow and a lot more. Now, this is really tiring.

First day, I didn't attend the said practice. The next day, I tried to attend the practice. And Oh Lord! We were placed under the scorching sun. There's no venue for the practice. Just in the ground. In the open parking lot. In a brown-colored fine soil covered area. Dusty. And eeew! What do they want? To serve us hot, smoked and grilled on the graduation? This is not a cooking show! It's a not a competition either! So why achieved perfection? We're doing our best. And this is enough!

P.S. The audio. The sound system sucks! Annoying. Irritating.


After that mind-numbing practice, I and my two girl friends decided to take a break. To wind up! Oh Yeah!

Let's go to Robinsons Ilocos. It has been a year and few months, I think, when we had this true mall in Ilocos. And as if it was still the same the day they opened it to the public. Few choices and few choices. That's all! Why won't they build one like Mall of Asia, Mega Mall or Robinsons Ermita (Mla)? Ilocos Norte can afford that. I am sure. Oh! com' on. Marcos, please...

Frustrated to find some great stuff. We took our snacks. Shawarma. Hmmm.

Then, we went to 365 plaza. There, we opened the clear transparent door. Of a coffee shop.

Coffee at early night? Caffeine. Not perfect at the moment. But I loved the experience. Our experience in Tribeca.


You may have heard it's name, being famous. Well, it came from Manhattan's most charming neighorhood, Tribeca.

Tribeca in New York, is a neighborhood of cobbledstoned streets, world-famous restaurants and historic warehouse buildings converted to multi-million dollar lofts. (About) Its name is a portmanteau composed of the words "Triangle below Canal Street", and is properly bounded by Canal Street, West Street, Broadway, and Chambers Street. (Wikipedia)

Now, Tribeca in Ilocos Norte, is a coffee shop serving the best coffees in Ilocos Norte. It is not related to the Tribeca in New York or to any coffee shop. Not a branch. But perhaps an original idea of the owner inspired by the real Tribeca place.


Tribeca is expediently situated at the right side of the national highway when going north, beside McDonald, few steps away from Robinsons Ilocos, with minutes-to-travel neighbor Laoag City Internatonal Airport and the Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel. It is located at Brgy. 1 San Franciso, San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, as part of 365 plaza, a center complex.

They have a great menu. They offer expresso, hot coffee, cold coffee, frappes, pastries, pasta and sandwiches. 

Coffees include Cafe Americano, Cafe Latte, Cappuccino, Cafe Mocha amounting from Php 75 (Regular) to Php 150 (Upsizefor real-hot coffees and Php 100 for iced-cold coffees .

My favorite expresso based blended desserts, their coffee frappes, include Mocha Caramel, Cookies and Cream, Choco-Macadamia, Chocolate Mint, Hazelnut and Black Forest, for Php 110-120 (16 oz) and Php 125-135 (20 oz). Kids frappes (Caffeine-Free) are also available.

They also have the best BTS (Better Than Sex) cake and their talk-of-the-town blueberry cheesecake, for Php 98 and Php 120 respectively.

The place defines what a cozy-and-comfy break is. They have relaxing dim-colored lights and comfortable sofas with their brick-styled wall. It is also a wifi zone. Fashion, home, lifestyle, nature and travel magazines are also available to read for free. Chocolate bars and snack crackers are available at the counter. And Oh! Lollipops too. The staffs/servers are also very approachable and accomodating. The coffee shop conveniently opens in the morning and closes midnight or later.

Wow! What else can I say? This place made my dream, of having my own coffee shop, to live again.

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Hold high the green and gold!

"Hold high the green and gold,
Waving with pride and hope;
Inspiring us to rise,
To reach the greatest heights.
With your kind guiding hands,
We know we'll never fail;
To reach success and give the best,
For you and our father land." - MMSU Hymn

The above photo magnificently gives us the inspiring perfect shade for green and gold - the official colors of our university, Mariano Marcos State University. This was taken during the holiday, December, when I was strolling in the joyful street of our barangay (not related, just the feeling perhaps).

MMSU is a top-performing school in Northern Luzon, mainly exerting its effort in agriculture and forestry as evidenced by their award winning researches. Other than that, the university is also known for its contribution of great engineers, accountants and of course, nurses in the country and in the world. Green for effort and gold for these awesome products!

Graduation is now encircled red, marked in calendars. Excitement and only excitement is the ambiance of the homes of every graduating Marionites. Topping this happiness are parents which I am sure they are now preparing for the awaited commencement exercise - their long gowns, signature bags, shoes, hair treatment, spa, manicure, contacting catering services and inviting the not-in-the-house relatives.

To my blogging friends, this marks the end of World of Vhincci | Green for I will be posting about what are in these graduation-ambiance filled homes starting today. Things I am going to miss in school. The graduation practices and preparations. With friends. Family. And all other related stuff. I welcome you to World of Vhincci | Grad!

A sense of fulfillment for everyone! Happy graduation to all Filipinos!
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Bangui | Mountain Resort

The verge of tsunami alert: An eye opener for the start of Summer '11!

March 11, 2011. I was in school. I spent the whole day in taking the diagnostic exam in preparation for our review for the Nursing Licensure Examination this July. Five o'clock hit the clock. I went home. To my dormitory. Walking. Thinking. (Sigh). It was a tough day. Really.

Tired and wanting a big gulp of cold. I opened, not the refrigerator, but first the door. Hmmmn. As usual, the neighborhood in complete attendance again. I thought they were watching some afternoon soap. Innocent. I am. Passing...

Then, Ate, the landlady, "Vhincci! Watch this..." There, I learned about the tsunami alert #2 in the country, in our province, Ilocos Norte. Now, it's tougher!


Where am I? Am I safe? Those kind of question arose. I'm lucky I'm in the urban. Not in nearby water. Sea. Ocean. Not in the coastal. Wait. My parents. Family. They are in Bangui. And it is a town nearby the bay. The South China Sea. And a little curve from the Pacific. Indeed, a prone area.

Where to evacuate then? For them who are in Bangui, especially in our barangay. I thought of this place. The Mountain Resort. It was high. High enough. Safe enough. The problem is, the resort cannot accomodate the whole populace.

Sad. Who can't be sad? I cannot imagine myself surviving in this disastrous event. Wet? Dirty? Lot of properties will be damaged. Japan, rich, suffered. What more to a poor Philippines? Thank God! That by 11 close midnight, the alert was cancelled. And I can have a peaceful sleep... zzzzZZZzzzz


Summer is here! I love it! Nice! Happy! Yehey! Bulaga! What else to say?

For sure, a lot will be again enjoying the season. Vacationers on the beaches! Boracay. Palawan. Pagudpud. But rarely on mountains. Only the adventurers!

Ok, aside from its advantage during the tsunami alert, I take you to a wider tour of Bangui's Mountain Resort. The resort is situated at the eastern most part of Barangay Lanao - the richest barangay in Bangui, reached before the town of Pagudpud and Dumalneg. So if you're trying to go to these towns, don't cha forget to visit this wonderful offering of nature.

Am I to duplicate these pictures? No! I mean, the photos speak for themselves. I need not to talk about them. So better look at them keen, vivid and glorious!

Oh! Isn't it that this place is stunning? Lots of green. Trees. Coconut. Grasses. To run. To walk. To tumble. To play! Hmmm. Lot of fresh air! Pure! And a majestic view. Of the vast verdant farmland. Of the bridge connecting to Pagudpud, where you can find Saud Beach, Asia's promising beach. And of course, a scene of the South China Sea! Look at the photos!


Hey! You can also stay all day, all night! You can't just have a tour, a visit! But hang-out and enjoy too. The place got a lot of cute cottages, for family picnics, simple chit-chats with friends, and a romantic sit-and-talk for lovers. And they can stay the whole night with rooms available. For couples or barkadas. Wow!

But if you're into a wilder and crazier life! Then avail it with their mini bar. Sing, dance and drink! Don't be bothered, 'cause the serenity still stays as this bar is far from their rooms. Enough not to be irritated if you're a conservative one...

Everywhere you stand are great views. At the back, you can take a glance of the forest and the mountain dividing Cagayan and Ilocos. And that, even you can see unfinished buildings, still you'll be amazed with its promises, that future is what it holds!

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Magical 2

A relief from nature.

I rested on my nest soporifically,
And never veered for something else.
Tatty feathers were scattered,
But they didn’t cause to bother.
The next thing I can remember,
Was the sun stroking radiance on my face.
“Holy crap,” I tweeted,
And I immediately stood up.
Still dizzy, still weak,
To start a new day of challenges.
Now I realized, crows weren’t that effective;
That I woke up indolently, after the light sets in.
Now, I dismantled again the tradition,
“The early bird catches the worm.”
I left my scruffy nest;
I forced myself to move.
My wings were paralyzed;
And that convinced me to walk.
I reached the park I always passed everyday,
Still the same as yesterday.
But this time, I felt my soul being shattered.
My heartbeat raced with my breath.
My body lost some balance,
My sensation was being played.
Then, inspiringly, the sun intensified;
Its tentacles touched every single leaf.
Meritoriously, I was relieved.
As this lifeless moment turned to such enlightenment.

The above photo was also taken at the park behind our school. The place is definitely a heaven. I really love the trees when the sun illuminates the leaves and the cool wind tickles them. Indeed, refreshing!
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Magical 1

An escape from reality.

I sauntered forlorn, out of my mind,
In an ever loathsome park;
Trees erratically grown and escalated,
In foliage of filth ashes.
It was a place absconded, never hugged.
With a mind-numbing fog.
Then I glimpsed an iridescently feathered;
Circling within my radius of vision,
And that it cheers the worn forest.
Swiftly, it perished in my sight,
So I intoxicatingly paced and scurried around,
Then the clouds cried along with my feeling,
Watering the dusts in the trees,
And giving that delight to surge.
The rain already wrapped up,
And disappointment did not came to bother,
As the sun peeped and spread its hands,
To crash its blaze to the drizzles left,
That is enough to illuminate the greens,
And unhook their veiled beauty.
The light came to intensify,
Bestowing its spanking new photograph,
In this world of repugnance.
“What a place!” I screamed,
Several echoes arose.
But it seemed to be a familiar voice,
It was my friends who replied.
Then I realized I was just in my dream.

The above photo was taken at the back of our school. The park has a lagoon inhabited by fishes. Number of trees are around, from mahoganies to bamboos and some trees with falling orange blossoms. With its tranquility you can only hear the chirps of local birds. With its beauty, you can see gamut of butterflies flying around. Now, this is what we call P-A-R-A-D-I-S-E!
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