Office Ensembles, February 2012

This month is featuring my brave attempts to unconventional prints, color combination and pairing. GQ Magazine once featured earlier this year that micro-prints are in. There’s not much of a difference with the usual polka-dots, checks and stripes; it’s just that the prints hafto be micronized or ultra tiny to give a different slash futuristic effect. I also tried the what I call the “gramps-effect” which uses earthly-colored ensembles like how our usual gramps would dress-up to give a mature-look which personally is very helpful to deceive people regarding my age cos a lot of my patients said I look so young to be a physician (which got me confused if it’s actually a good compliment or a bad comment). In this set, I also included my brave attempt to combine two primary colors, not to complement each other but to show flux and digression of completely diverse colors. I ever since believe however that blue and yellow no matter how completely deflective they are would go together nicely with the use right textures and shades.

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Top: Rolled-up sleeves, white with black micro-dots by, H&M

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Top: Rolled-up sleeves, grey-ish to brown-esque with white vertical micro-stripes, Old Navy

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Top: Rolled-up sleeves, earthly mixture of brown, green, yellow and blue vertical stripes of different width, Banana Republic

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Top: Yellow, collared, Folded & Hung
Belt: Black, leather with silver buckle, McJim
Trousers: Blue, custom-made

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Top: Green with blue vertical stripes, Gap
Watch: Green, Lacoste
Pen: Green, given by a MedRep
Stamp: Green, DigiStamps

The Basics Can Save Your Health

I believe that a physician should set himself as his own perfect example. He should practice what he is preaching to his patients. That being said, would you believe a doctor who would advise you to lose weight or to obtain a normal body mass index (BMI) in order to achieve some cardiovascular benefits if he himself is overtly obese? I guess not. Orrr how would you feel about a doctor giving you a lecture to stop smoking and laying out its numerous complications if you can outright-ly smell his nicotine-loaded breath? Turn off, noh?

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I see patients everyday with different medical cases and I personally don’t or simply prescribe medications. If I can still actually avoid giving medicines, I’d rather not give. In certain medical conditions however such as hypertension and diabetes it’s not enough to medicate these patients. We also give them advises especially during their first few visits in the clinic the non-pharmacology therapeutic approaches or the medical management not involving drugs. Lifestyle and diet modifications are two of the most important non-pharmacologic therapy.

In my practice, lifestyle and diet modifications are not just being laid to those with diabetes, hypertension or what have yous chronic conditions. As a well-individual, prevention of disease occurrence is more important than cure. And I strongly advise to modify lifestyle and diet in order to prevent medical illnesses.

To be totally honest, I was once diagnosed as a case of pre-hypertension. It was detected prior to my post-graduate internship. As a 25-year old physician then, I was astonished to be already a pre-hypertensive, more so because the usual co-morbidity that is diabetes runs strongly in my genetic make-up. I was worked-up intensively and was generally advised by my cardiologist to change my lifestyle and diet. I know right? Diet modification was easy but changing my lifestyle as a physician who would go on most of the time to 36 hours of hospital duties was a struggle. Lack of sleep was the main stressor. After a year of being health conscious, my blood pressure was back to normal. I was very lucky cos my increase in blood pressure was detected early; that I was still in the grey-zone of being normal and hypertensive. If I weren’t screened early and managed accordingly, I might already be hypertensive by now with maintenance medication/s for life.

My basic lifestyle modification involves adequate sleep, moderate exercise or physical activities for most days of the week, not smoking, moderate alcohol consumption, aversion from illicit drugs, safe sex practice and positive outlook in life. It’s very easy to follow, e?

Adequate sleep is a minimum of 8 hours but not more than 10. But personally, an 8-hour sleep is already a luxury. I seldom get that sheer pleasure; I am already happy with a 4-6 hours especially during medical training. However, we also have to weigh the productivity factor in relation to the amount of sleep that we get. If we try to rationalize it, by the time you reach the age of 30 you would technically have slept through your entire 10 years if you practice an 8-hour of sleep per day. It’s just right that we become more productive if we get enough rest however too much rest can also lead to poor work performance.

Moderate exercise per day for most days of the week is the ideal healthy physical activity. The strict definition of moderate exercise is 100 steps per minute for 30 minutes. My personal definition of moderate physical activity or exercise is 30-45 minutes of jogging, brisk-walking (for overweight & obese) or aerobics. It should be done during most days of the week and that’s at least 4 times a week or every other day.

Smoking doesn’t define lung cancer. Smoking can be equated to any type of cancers and other chronic medical illnesses. And I don’t have to elaborate on these cos it’s been utmost-ly proven by thousands of medical literatures. It is prudent not to start and stop if you are still. To be totally honest, I was once a smoker and I am happy that I’ve long been tobacco-zilch! Nada! There are actually several reasons why people smoke cigarettes. Peer pressure and oral fixation are the most common reasons especially to those who just smoke a few sticks per day. So, if you smoke 2-3 sticks or at most 5 per day, then just quit smoking cos in reality you’re not yet dependent. Avoid a group of people who smoke and shifting the oral fixation into something healthier like always bringing a bottle of water in hand will be of great help. If smoking leads you to finish at least half pack a day, then I understand if quitting is such an issue. It’s not easy to take off a habit, a bad habit that is. My advise to those who are chain smokers, start lessening your sticks per day until you go zilch too! Not easy, but achievable.

Moderate alcohol consumption or sometimes referred by some as occasional alcoholic beverage drinking is defined strictly as not more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 drinks per day for men, non-cumulative. For some laymen, this is quite hard to understand. What I tell my patients is to not drink more than 1 serving per day for women and not more than 2 servings per day for men. And by 1 serving it means a bottle of beer or 1 shot glass or 1 cocktail drink or 1 glass of wine; non-cumulative. & when I say non-cumulative it means that 7 servings can’t be taken in a single day to cover a week.

Say no to illegal drugs. I don’t discriminate users but those drugs are illicit because of the known bad effects. They are known to bring you that high but if that’s the only effect it can bring then they shouldn’t be banned, right? I don’t need to enumerate and elaborate the numerous adverse effects of those drugs but the outright illegality of those substances should alarm all of us.

Safe sex practice. When I started my own medical practice, I was amazed. Yes… Amazed to the common-ism of sexually transmitted infections (STI). We rarely saw such cases in the institution where I trained that when I started seeing these group of patients in crops more frequently, I’ve to reiterate to myself the guidelines to treat them accordingly. Well I guess that most of these cases are seen by private practicing doctors because of the nature of the situation. And for that matter, I now always ask my patient’s sexual practices. Initially, I was a little shy and uncomfortable asking them about it but I felt the need to address the problem. My common advise is to be monogamous… but let’s all be real, monogamy is already obsolete to some. Condom is the next best thing for prevention of most STIs. I am also an advocate with the use of HPV vaccination until the age of 26 for both sexes.

Dharma-ism. I was taught in med school that our approach to treating patients should not be just based on the physical disability but rather wholistic, and I believe that a patient with a positive outlook in life recovers faster from a medical illness. The explanation could be very molecular-biologic; we have hormones and neurotransmitters which control our bodily functions that are affected and partially released by our emotional status, thoughts and aura. The World Health Organization (WHO) even defined health in its broader sense as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

How about diet? My basic diet advise is to follow a hypertensive diet. Why? Because hypertension is easily acquired from all the changes, evolution and madness of our very commercialized diet; fast food and bulk eating now dominate our food industry. Hypertensive diet consists of low fat, low sodium, and high fiber. I personally try or lean more to organic eating now. I enjoy organic eating as much as I enjoy sex, plus it’s much easier to maintain a normal BMI in eating organic. I also shy away from buffet restaurants. You should, too! I really don’t enjoy buffet dining cos the main point of going there is to eat as much as you can for the money you paid… unless maybe it’s an outlet or venue for friendly or family gatherings then I’ll consider. It’s one huge big propaganda, I should say… Pun and redundancy intended. Vegan eating on the other hand which doesn’t work for everyone is also a healthy option. I’ve tried and has been successful for a month… I gave up because I realized that I am a meat-eater by heart. LOL. For me twas a struggle. I don’t give high recommendation to veganism too because of the possible long-term vitamin deficiencies.

So these are my basics to healthy living; These are just suggestions of what I personally do to myself and in my humble opinion they are worth sharing to everyone cos I think everyone deserves to be healthy. It’s a choice. You do what you want to your own body. I think it’s good to end this blog entry by sharing this statement, “An ounce of prevention is better than tons of cure.” :-)

What’s In The Bag?

This blog will showcase my everyday travel - here and there essentials and sundries. First of all, I like nice bags… Simple & spacious with easy access to compartments. So if you’re gifting me a bag which is the main reason for this blog entry (just in case you are… hehe.) make sure it is nice (see definition of nice above) and can handle all the stuff presented below so that I can really use it. Haha. I know right? We all know how people would react and feel bad about when they don’t see us using the things that they give.  And for that matter, giving me the right bag will be perfect for me to use. BTW, All my everyday-use bags are of almost the same size as the black messenger below.

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Currently using this bag for a couple of weeks now.

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A must bring all the time, stethoscope!

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It’s more ideal to have a separate card holder and money wallet. Wallet tends to mutilate your cards easily especially when you slip your wallet in your trouser pocket.

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Sugar-loaded mints I take in instances when I can’t find the time to eat just yet. They relieve hunger. They’re life-savers!

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As for the sugar-free mint, I use it in emergency cases to freshen my breath.

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Murse is a man purse, by the way; to hold everyday sundries, small items, condoms and stash of ***. You may ask where’s the personal phone? Well, I don’t put my iPhone in the bag cos it’s always in my hand or pocket. I use my phone to check emails, social media (twitter: @jadmalala follow me!) and daily agendas. :-) How about you? What’s in your bag?

Evolution Of This Blog

Just a quick epiphany that I had and that some of you may also have noticed that this blog’s evolved and still evolving from what used to be a venting out machine of my everyday struggles as a student (pre-medical and medical), love life and relationships into now a lifestyle, fashion, occasionally gastronomical, happy, interesting and inspirational outlet. I believe that it has changed because I’ve evolved too as a person; from a very pedestrian, simple, idealistic, immature, “unhealthy” and risky student into now a very cautious, conceited, deviant, practical, organic-loving & health-conscious physician. Shame on me if I haven’t uhm… transcended noh? This blog’s been up for almost a freakin’ decade! Yet for the past few years, I’ve rarely (like 0.1%) ranted about my past relationships or any gruesome everyday encounters because I already don’t see the point. What I write as you’ve noticed are the things that I’ve learned. Personal life should be kept personal. You can call this blog a personal one but it doesn’t have to be all out and about ranting that sometimes  even crossing the line of writing against a person… Cos it’s an awful and sad thing to read and look back… so it should be something that I can share to everyone and can inspire others like for example the what’s good from a failed relationship for that matter… orrrrr the things that I’ve learned from a failed relationship… Or conceitedly speaking, my monthly office #ensembles!!! :-))) There’s no point of looking at the bad side; life is too short & beautiful to focus on the bad side! :-)

Office Ensembles, January 2012

This month’s collection is all about being able to pull off a very casual but presentable slash respectable look in the office. These ensembles I usually wear on the last day of my clinic week as I consider it as my dress-down-day; a respite from being too formal or smart-casual. Plain tee, printed or not, tandem with regular denim trousers and topped with the distinguishable white coat will surely make it happen. It will definitely work! Especially now that we are already in the transition from being in a cool and breezy weather to now evidently warmer. Here are some of my favorites.

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Tee: off-white, meager fabric with graphic design, H&M
Blazer: Nikko’s Tailoring

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Tee: white, Philippine map embroidered, F&H
Blazer: Nikko’s Tailoring
Stethoscope: maroon, 3M Littmann Select

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Tee: yellow with piping and label print, Gap
Blazer: Nikko’s Tailoring
Stethoscope: maroon, 3M Littmann Select

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Tee: dark green, cotton with see-through profile, U by Rustans
Blazer: Nikko’s Tailoring

Citrix Of Mibre

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That’s his real name. Son of Brix of Tomski & Samantha of SGE II. But I call him Taco. Short for Taquito. Aside from being Mexican in origin, the fur is fawn like a taco shell hence the name.

My family loves pets. Any kind. I remember that we kept a mynah in our porch but we had a hard time teaching it words to repeat. Haha. Me and my siblings were still too young then that dad had to sell it. I think. We also raised a carp for several years, initially the size of a penny until it grew like a plate then died, probably cos of old age. Other animals that we had as far as I can remember were rabbits, hamsters and a monkey named Sharon. Currently we have a persian cat named Rain and several shih-tzus sheltered in the province. My mom and my sister are the ultra animal lovers, like they can literally kiss the dogs.

A month ago, I decided to get my own puppy. And by “get my own” means that I acquired it using my own money and gonna raise it in my own expense. I initially thought of bringing one of our shih-tzus, EmEm here in QC but I’ve seen how to handle her kind of breed; super ultra high-maintenance… so I did a little research and found a compatible dog for me, a chihuahua.

So why did I get a puppy? I‘ve read before, like a long long time ago in a modest blog that if you are able to raise or maintain an aquarium, you might as well be able to handle a relationship/family and the stressors. I know, right? It sounds too ridiculous to compare handling a fish/aquarium and a real life relationship and situations. I was like, “What kind of shit-nitz this author is talking about???” but eventually I got the author’s point, raising a fish/s or maintaining an aquarium for that matter is a no joke (really, not at all), it requires ultra extra efforts. I know cos I’ve also tried. Haha. The fish died just so you know. So before even getting an aquarium per se, everything must be planned; the type of fish to raise, the water, the contents, the accessories. The water has to be properly prepared, cleaned and maintained in a strict manner; temperature, pH, salt content, sun exposure, etc. An aquarium owner should be very scrupulous or the fish/s will die; or as that blog author and now I compare it with a relationship if not being handled well, it will not last.

I’m still wanting a fish to keep but for now, I am laying and focusing my extra time raising Taco. I am emulating the concept of maintaining a fish aquarium to raising a dog. I believe there’s not much of a difference. Raising a dog is not at all easy hoo-ba-loo voila-done especially the type of Taco’s breed cos they’re very sensitive to a lot of diseases, violence and traumatic handling. He will already turn 5months on February 18 and so far, I think I’m doing a pretty good job being like his dad. LOL. He’s getting fat big fast. I bet his vaccination schedule is more updated than mine and I reckon I’ve raised him too attached to me though, is that a bad thing? Cos he can’t sleep if not in my bed beside me or if ever I’m not at home beside anyone else.

So far, one of the important lessons I’ve learned while raising Taco is that everything beautiful is hardwork. There is no easy way. Do you want money? Work hard for it. D’you want a good and lasting  relationship? Work hard for it. Do you want to raise good kids? Work hard for it.

The 10 Essentials

1. Best fitting denim trousers

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I invest on really good trousers. I have pants that’s been worn for a decade already and still my favorites. Trousers that suit you best will not actually depend on the brand/s that I may suggest cos male human forms aren’t totally the same in the general population. So my advice is to really scout your "own" brand. But for a lanky guy like me, I like the denims of Uniqlo, Levi’s, Guess and local brands such as Bench & F&H. When I say best fitting denim pants, it’s something that’s easy to wear, usually slim/straight cut that enhances improves your best lower-part assets and can be worn with just plain white tee or can be emergency-shifted to semi-casual cases easily topped by a coat. You will never go wrong wearing them all day everyday. But I also dig the corduroy types and depend much on brands such as Levi’s, Gap and Old Navy.

2. Bidet

Bidet is like your toothbrush used the other way around. And I still don’t get why some households don’t have this simple equipment beside their comfort thrones. I believe too that it’s one of the greatest inventions. Ever. I cannot contend though that usual Filipinos would use “tabo” and that it is still very available but why not shift to an easily extendable washer? It’s more hygienic than “tabo” too cos those dippers are also being used alternately by some in taking a bath.

3. A pair of suit

One must have a pair of suit that’s always ready in their closet. Cos you will never know when you’ll be needing them. And the need usually happens in short notice! Did you notice? Hahaha. Although, I’m not saying that it should be an expensive kind. But definitely it should be something tailor-fitted. It should be done exactly just for you; in your form & structure. Please, not an RTW. You know why? You know why? Cos a suit should be you. It should fold and crease into your delicate angles and curves. And those are unique to each and every individual. So get a pair of suit JUST FOR YOU.

4. Wet wipes

Wet wipes orrrr better yet are the baby wipes. It’s the most useful toiletry. No debate on that! You can clean any part your body hygienically even if you’re not in the confines of your home. Why do I prefer baby wipes than the regular wet wipes? Cos it’s more likely for manufacturers of baby wipes to not use or put any harsh chemicals in wipes used for babies. So technically, if it’s safe for use to the delicate skin of babies, it’s safe for use as wipes even on your face.

5. A satchel or mailman/messenger bag

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I am a bag person. I always bring stuff with me; the must bring items. And since I have a lot of must brings, I prefer a medium sized bag that can be used casually, on the run and at work without the hassle of exchanging bags and shifting the contents from one bag to the other. Bags such as satchels and messenger bags suit that attitude and personality just like any young professional like me. :-) Need I say more?

6. A murse

A murse is a man purse. It’s not your the-only-bag. It’s a smaller bag in the bag that you always bring. LOL. But for some, it can be used as a separate bag. But I just don’t. Hahaha. Some call it their clutch bag. But clutch bag is such a 90s term. We don’t use that anymore. It’s like using the word “parlor” instead of “salon”. Haha. But murses are super helpful in containing almost all your on-the-go slash work slash duty sundries. Really.

7. Rayban

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Raybans of choice? The classic aviators and wayfarers. My facial bone structure won’t allow tiny-sporty sunnies. I don’t know why… It’s been an old dilemma but I’m now not complaining. I love those big frames to keep my eye luggage from showing.  I believe that I have the same facial form similar to Tom Cruise, noh? I love his wayfarer in the movie MI4. haha. And I follow one of the basic rules of life that is… if it doesn’t suit you –> avoid! Why essential? Sunnies are proven to protect the eyes from the damaging effects of sun and wind that irritate the eyes especially to those who are always outdoors which in the long run may eventually lead to certain ophthalmologic pathologies. And since you’ll gonna put it in your face, better choose something nice and appropriate. Personally, as I have mentioned the aviators and wayfarers of Rayban.

8. Antihistamine

In a world where people develop instant immunity and reaction into anything, it’s always prudent to always carry a “contra” in hand. Cos you will never know. I too will never know if this new food that I am going to try or eat will have some form of immunologic reaction to me, e? I am allergic to alcohol but not to all types of alcohol. I develop blemishes most especially with beer and vodka. IKR? And these are my favorite alcoholic beverages too. Haha. And as a precaution, I take medications before I drink. Orrr least I bring medication in hand just in case I start to itch and have trouble breathing. Whatever over-the-counter generics may actually do. Citirizine, loratadine, desloratadine. Avoid the ones with sedative effects though especially if you’re driving. :-)

9. Baseball cap or beanie

Why essential? Bad hair day is a vanity emergency. I am my hair and since I am the kind of person who’s always on the go, I make sure I have a baseball cap and a beanie on top of my table that’s easy to grab… Also, I put another tandem that I always keep in the car compartment. Although I don’t really have a problem wearing an unruly hair at times, it still depends on the current hair length, the current attire, and the mood. Personally, I’ve used these headgears several times already as solutions to hair problems when in a hurry, lacking time to style the hair. I also most of the time use my baseball cap when driving especially at night to give a “macho” effect so not to attract carnapers. LOL.

10. Jaquette

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A cardigan… Or a nice sweater or a jacket. Or a coat! Anything. But I really prefer a lightweight, not so thick cardigan because of the Philippine weather. I always hang one of these at the backseat. Why? Cos there are certain occasions when you need immediate temperature (especially cold) protection wherein for example, a friend spontaneously invites you to a movie and you’re already out of the house wearing just a regular tee made of meager fabric from H&M. Can you able handle the stress of watching a movie freezing? Right.

Office Ensembles, December 2011

First of all, I would like to greet my readers <if there are… actually… haha.> a very merry Christmas & a happy new year! I know it’s so delayed but I’ve been very busy in December. Last month, I still saw patients on a regular basis which is kind of unusual for a private-practicing doctor like me who would usually just take a vacay from doing clinics. I also took my first step exam for the US medical boards and I don’t want to talk about it. Yet. I technically died right then and there. LOL. & when I say I was busy, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all about work and career, I likewise attended several partieeeees. The most remarkable were the 3 weddings in different parts of Luzon. I know right? I am already in the generation when my batchmates are getting engaged, taking their vows and eventually having kids.

Office attires for December were mostly if not all are play with layers, use of heavy fabrics and contrast between strong and dark colors because it’s the only time of the year in the Philippines when it gets really cold. Not really as cold as the winter of the northern hemispheres but it usually gets comfortably colder than usual. It’s the time when we get the chance to wrap ourselves with extra clothing and what have yous.

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Scrub Suit: Blue, SurgiScrub
Raglan: Blue/White, Old Navy
Stethoscope: Maroon, 3M Littmann Select

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Tee: Brown, collared, Armani Exchange
Belt: Black, leather, Armani Exchange
Trousers: Denim, Levi’s 514 slim straight

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Tee: Yellow, collared, Folded & Hung
Sweater: Brown, Dean & Trent

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Tee: Green, collared, Oxygen
Cardigan: Blue-gray, Folded & Hung

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Dress shirt: Red/Black, checked, Dean & Trent

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Dress Shirt: Brown-ish, plaid, Oxygen
Sweater Vest: Brown, printed, Oxygen
Medical Coal: Nikko’s Tailoring