A good friend shared this site and I am doing my part, passing it forward, and sharing it to you.
This is one of the coolest animation I've seen educating people about HIV/ AIDS.
Watch, learn and be safe. And don't forget to take the quiz after you've seen the animation.
Let's keep making this world a better place to live in.
Friday, October 30, 2009
A good friend shared this site and I am doing my part, passing it forward, and sharing it to you.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
[Image source: http://rosettasister.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/rainy-night-by-wael-saad.jpg]
I woke up around quarter to five in the morning giving out a loud “ugh!”
I had a dream. I don’t know if it will qualify as a nightmare, because I didn’t find it scary, but it’s no where near the story of the Little Mermaid, except for the presence of water.
It was a raining. It was dark. I can’t figure out if it was night time or the rain cloud was too grey that it made the day looked bleak. But I didn’t feel scared
I was standing, drench in the rain. Behind me was a gate. I didn’t see it but I knew it was there. In front of me was a dirt path.
I looked left and right and all I can see it water. The surrounding seemed like rice field of some sort. I just couldn’t see its definition because of the volume of water. I wondered if the presence of water was because of the rain or if it’s naturally there.
I feel that there is nowhere for me to go but straight, and forward I went. I have not gone far and I noticed, to my left, a small old cottage.
I walked further and thought I saw a shadow amidst the darkness. I started to walk faster. Then I saw a man. I am not sure who he was but I felt we knew each other. He was standing and looking straight into the darkness.
I noticed that that side of the field was darker than the areas near the gate and the cottage. It was pitch black.
I asked him where we were but he didn’t respond to my query. He looked pale and cold. He must be standing in the rain for a while, I thought. I asked the same question and I received the same blank response.
Then he took my hand. He was holding me too tight that it began to hurt. I started struggling to free my hand (I can feel my sleeping body wriggling), but he was too strong.
He started to walk towards the darkness. I kept squirming to loosen my hand. Thanks to the rain water that wet his hand, I was able to break away from his grip.
He turns to look at me and his blank expression turn into an angry face.
My instinct screamed and ordered me to run, and that’s exactly what I did. I turned the opposite direction and ran as fast as I could.
I couldn’t feel the ground. I turned down to look… the dirt path was no longer there. I was running on water. After realizing this, I fell in the water.
I think I sank about three feet under water. I thought it was a good hiding place so I held my breath and stayed there as long as I could.
While I was submerged, I thought I was floating, but when I looked around, I saw that I was lying on a bed of water spinach (Kangkong in Filipino).
I don’t know how long I was sunken but I running out of air (I think I was holding my breath for real while I was dreaming).
Then I felt a hand grabbed me by the chest. It was him. I pushed him away and started running again. I ran past the cottage, past the open field, that’s filled with water and then reached the gate.
While I was standing there, it didn’t felt right to open the gate and go further beyond it. My curiosity got the best, I turned around and walk towards the cottage.
When I reached the cottage, I notice that it was lit from the inside. I peaked through the window and saw the man. He was violently throwing the furniture. He looked mad.
Then I heard something like a wail. I turned to look to my right and saw a wounded dog. It looked like a cross breed of a German Shepherd and a Rottweiler and it looked very week. I felt sad for the thing and decided to carry it back to the gate.
The dog was heavy. I had to make several stops from the cottage to the gate. I was on my third stop and I felt tired. So I decided to rest longer than I did on my last two stops.
I was very tired from all that transpired. I closed my eyes to rest. After a few minutes, I thought I need to continue. I opened my eyes and saw the man sitting in a squat position in front of me with a sheepish looking grin on his face.
He was holding a wide blade kitchen knife. Before I could even give out a reaction, he stabbed be in the belly… I literally heard my self gave out a loud “ugh!”
Then I was awakened.
I find it strange that in the past two weeks… almost of my dreams have water and cottages in them.
Most of the time, I can control my dream, but not this one. However, I still knew that it was just a dream. But I allowed my self to be a passive part of the dream.
I want to understand because I believe acquiring the ability to interpret your dreams is a powerful tool.
Below are the dream interpretations I found online @ http://www.dreammoods.com/dreamdictionary/. I arranged the symbols according to the manner of appearance in my dream.
Coincidentally, the meanings are somewhat accurate to what my life circumstances are going through.
Darkness is synonymous with ignorance, the unconscious, evil, death, and fear of the unknown. If you feel safe in the dark, then it suggests that you like not knowing about certain things. As some might say, ignorance is bliss.
To have a dream that takes place at night represents some major setbacks and obstacles in achieving your goals. There are some issues in your life that you are facing, but are not too clear. You should put the issues aside so you can clear your head and come back to it later. Alternatively, night may be synonymous with death, rebirth, reflection, and new beginnings.
To dream that you get wet from the rain, indicates cleansing from your troubles and problems. Rain also symbolizes fertility and renewal.
To see or pass through a gate in your dream, suggests that you are walking through a new phase of life. It also represents new opportunities and possibilities, especially if the gate is opened or swinging.
To see a closed gate in your dream signifies your inability to overcome current difficulties. If you are unable to open the gate, then it indicates that your hard work will be seen as unsatisfactory. It may also mean that you are not ready or not prepared to move on to the next step.
To see freshly stirred dirt in your dream, symbolizes thriftiness and frugalness. Dirt is also representative of situations where you have been less than honourable and may have acted in a devious manner.
To walk through a quiet, open path, signifies clarity of thought and peace of mind. It may also symbolize your progress.
To see a blocked or windy path, denotes that you need to give serious attention to the direction you are heading in your personal and/or business life. You also need to take time out to consider and rethink the consequences before acting on your choices.
To see water in your dream, symbolizes your unconscious and your emotional state of mind. Water is the living essence of the psyche and the flow of life energy. It is also symbolic of spirituality, knowledge, healing and refreshment.
To see muddy or dirty water in your dream, indicates that you are wallowing in your negative emotions. You may need to devote some time to clarify your mind and find internal peace. Alternatively, it suggests that your thinking/judgment is unclear and clouded. If you are immersed in muddy water, then it indicates that you are in over your head in a situation and are overwhelmed by your emotions.
To dream that you are walking on water, suggests that you have supreme and ultimate control over your emotions. It may also suggest that you need to "stay on top" of your emotions and not let them explode out of hand. Alternatively, it is symbolic of faith in your self.
To see a cottage in your dream, represents comfort, peace and serenity. You prefer a quiet life of simplicity. The cottage may also represent an altered sense of reality and thus may be a means of escaping the responsibilities and problems that may be associated with your home. You need to approach life's difficulties one at a time.
To see an acquaintance in your dream, signifies positive affairs in business and harmony in your home life. It also foretells that you will see or hear from them shortly after this dream.
To dream that you are in a dispute with an acquaintance denotes that you will soon find yourself in a humiliating situation.
To dream that you are underwater, suggests that you are feeling overcome with emotions and are in need of greater control in your life. You may be in over your head regarding some situation.
To dream that you are breathing underwater represents a retreat back into the womb. You want to return to a state where you were dependent and free from responsibilities. Perhaps you are feeling helpless, unable to fulfil your own needs and caring for your self. Alternatively, you may be submerged in your emotions.
To see plants in your dream, indicate fertility, spiritual development, growth or the potential for growth. Alternatively, the appearance of plants in your dreams reflects your caring and loving nature.
To see leaves in your dream, signifies new found happiness and improvements in various aspects of your life. It is symbolic of fertility, growth and openness. Alternatively, leaves represent a passage of time.
To see a dog in your dream, symbolizes intuition, loyalty, generosity, protection, and fidelity. The dream suggests that your strong values and good intentions will enable you to go forward in the world and bring you success. Alternatively, it indicates a skill that you have ignored or forgotten.
If the dog is dead or dying, then it indicates a loss of a good friend. Alternatively, it represents a deterioration of your instincts.
The knife may be symbolic of something divisive in your life. You may be attempting to cut ties or sever some relationship.
To dream that you have been stabbed, signifies your struggle with power. You may be experiencing feelings of inadequacy and defensiveness. Alternatively, you may be feeling betrayed as the popular phrase goes, "being stabbed in the back".
Sunday, October 25, 2009
[Image source: http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s9/babyblu_pecson/Emo.jpg]
I was feeling emotional tonight. I feel like things are a little hazy than I am supposed to see them. In spite of the good people around me and the activities that keep me preoccupied, I still feel poignant and lonesome.
Wanting to find enlightenment, I decided to send my Li’l bro (one of the people I receive so much comfort from… even though I can only come so close to him) a text message and share my “Emo-ment”.
I didn’t need to be comforted, I needed to be told the truth, the reality, that I am not able to see from where I am standing. And the truth was bestowed upon me.
I shall forever remember his insights:
“Each of us has a calling. Baka hindi pa pwede ngayun kasi (it could be it’s not yet time) you have greater things to do.”
“You can’t rush things, focus muna. Love what you do, love yourself for being able to do things. You’re starting to do things you’ve dreamed of doing. If you’re preoccupied with someone, you will be limited on the things you can do… just set it aside until you reach your goal, then you can share it all. For now, you need to focus.”
I know these words came from the heart. Unadorned and sincere.
Thanks Li’l bro.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Acceptance is an agreeing either expressly or by conduct to the act or offer of another so that a contract is concluded and the parties become legally bound. - Mirriam-Webster
Positivism – Vol. 1, Issue 3
Shout out: Eric
Positivism – Vol. 1, Issue 2
Cover: Wanggo Gallaga
Shout out: Humphrey
Positivism – Vol. 1, Issue 1
Cover: Shola Luna
I just passed my application and signed the job offer. I got a new job!
I am so excited. Training starts Tuesday next week (October 27)… or Monday, if they decide to change and make us start earlier.
Part of the pre-employment process is a medical exam. Gosh, another of it’s kind. The last time I went to this sort, I found out I was HIV positive. I wonder what’s in store for me this time.
Part of the medical examination is a drug test.
At the clinic, I was asked to fill out a form. There’s a portion there that asked if I was taking any medication and if yes, I needed to note what that medication is.
After a while, my name was called, I was asked to fill two plastic containers. Then, I was asked to sign the labels that would go with the containers.
While in the process of signing, I saw the clinic personnel, who were seated beside me, put in a pregnancy test looking thing into one of the plastic bottles I filled. In less than 30 seconds, two pink lines appeared.
At that point my heart was pounding.
I jokingly asked her, if that two lines means I am pregnant? She laughed and said that means my test result is negative.
Whew! What a relief!
I have to be honest. I was scared going through this drug testing. I am a little concerned that my test result with come out positive. I read that some people on Efavirenze receive a false positive test for marijuana when drug-screening tests are used.
You see, I have been confirmed to be a Possie for almost two years now and I’ve been on ARV medication pretty much the same time. Right now I am taking a combination of Lamivudine, Zidovudine and Efavirenze.
I was so paranoid that I made sure to take in lots of water the evening before and on the day of the medical exam, since drug testing uses urine as a specimen. I As a result, I was peeing like a fountain, not running out of water to spurt.
Frankly, I didn’t want to declare that I am on medication. More so, state that I am on antiretroviral medication. But as a person who is not very good with lies (not even white lies), I ticked yes on the questionnaire and wrote that I am on ARV.
I did not want to state that I am on ARV because I feared that if the company finds out about my HIV status; they will not proceed hiring me.
What was I thinking? I already signed the job offer. Recruitment already congratulated me for passing. I did it. I am qualified for the job.
Then I had a realization.
However knowledgeable I am with R.A. 8504 (Aids Prevention and Control Act of 1988), regardless of the coming out experiences I’ve made and the number of people who’s been so loving and supportive of me, I realized that it still feel different when I am the one in “the” situation.
This is the first time I encountered this kind of situation. I felt that I have something to lose. Even though that is not the case.
According to R.A. 8504, Article VII, Section 35, It is unlawful to discriminate, not hire someone or terminate them on the bases of actual, percieved or suspected HIV status.
Anyone proven to be guilty of violating the above mentioned can be imprisoned from six months to four years with a fine not exceeding PHP 10,000.00. Additionally, their licenses/permits shall be revoked.
I am glad I came out negative on my drug test. I am also happy of the new experience I gained. It gave me more understanding and a better perspective on why some People Living with HIV like me has work related fears.
Know you rights. Knowledge is one of your tools for survival.
Monday, October 19, 2009
[image source: http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/thumb_223/1199487800ns47kU.jpg]
When you have the luxury of time… you really get to stop and smell the flowers.
There are times, like right now… I get to think and ask, why me?
I know there are reasons and a bigger purpose why I turned out to be positive. But looking at the other side of the fence (the side I came from before I got where I am right now), I can’t help but feel emotional while reminiscing everything I had to give up (some are trivial and some are essential).
If I weren’t diagnosed to be reactive, I wouldn’t be dealing with people’s prejudices. I wouldn’t have to explain anything to the guy I am dating. I can eat raw food, stay up late and I do not have to wake in the middle of the night to take ARV.
On the other hand, I would not have gained the loving hearts of the people I met and the friendships I made. I would not have started living responsibly and healthy. I might have missed the opportunity building a good relationship with my family. And I would not have the opportunity to touch and make a difference on other people’s lives.
So, which is better? Being a Poz or not being one?
I cannot definitively tell.
But this I can say… Despite my circumstances, I am still one of those considered to be lucky.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
I missed my Filipino Sign Language (FSL) class last Saturday because I went out of town and the the first session was canceled due to typhoon Ondoy’s visit. Therefore, today is officially my first day in class :-D
I arrived early in school but wasn't able to come in class on time. That’s because they changed the class room and I was waiting in a different room. Good thing I saw my good Deaf friend R and told me where my class was.
So I was late, I started apologizing and relating to my teacher how I early and waited and how I was guided to the room where they were. I introduced my self to the class… and I did all of this signing.
I must admit, I am very rusty with my signing ability since I don't' get to hang with my Deaf friends anymore. Everyone just seem so busy nowadays. But I didn’t realize how conversant I was using sign language, until one of my classmates asked my teacher if I am Deaf and if I was sitting in the class to observe.
I felt proud that my classmates thought I was Deaf (you will understand what I mean if you've experienced being the only hearing person in a group of Deaf girls and guys). However, I need to practice FSL more since I got used to using ASL (American Sign Language) and it is confusing my classmates.
I had a fun day but a bit consumed, hence the short entry. I will share more stories about my FSL class soon.
Friday, October 16, 2009
I just came home from a very interesting activity. I feel a little tired yet feeling fulfilled… but still wanting for more.
I had my first experience in participating (more of assisting) on an HIV orientation activity today. This was conducted to junior and senior high school students from one of the Christian Academies in Quezon City.
I started my day early. I dressed up wearing my newly bought khaki casual shorts, white sneakers and black shirt. I brought my trusty notebook and my niece’s PSP (just in case I need company).
Since my car is still not in a good running condition, I had to take the public transportation.I needed to make a stop at Pasay, Manila to pick up a friend before proceeding to the Manila Social Hygiene Clinic (SHC).That's where my group decided to meet for the day's activity.
I made sure to drop by SHC to visit my loving friends there. After a little chat, hi and hellos with the HSC staff, my friend and I with the lecturing group and proceeded to our school of destination.
I was so excited to do this.
We started the activity with an exercise to make everyone feel comfortable. It also doubled as sort of diagnostic to check how much the kids know about STD, HIV and AIDS.
Our senior gave the lecture on reproductive health, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) and touched base on the HIV/ AIDS status in the Philippines (including the statistics and charts that I doubt if the kids where very keen about.) then another member of our group executed the lecture on HIV/ AIDS.
Since the institution is a Christian school, we have to be very careful with our use of terms and illustrations. We had to separate the boys from the girls when we showed them images of examples of STD infections.
While one group is outside viewing the slides, the other group was in the adjoining room doing some question and answer activity. I was appointed to handle this potion.
It’s really amazing how kids nowadays are interested to know so much as compared to what we have during my time. These kids asked from how HIV is acquired to how it can be prevented, to how long a person with HIV would live and the advantages and disadvantages of having HIV.
Some interesting questions also came about like, will a person get HIV from masturbating frequently or will you still get HIV even if you’re a virgin? Another kid asked where do we get HIV, from a boy or a girl? Some of us might think these questions are funny, but for a 15 year old, it’s not. So I had to make sure I don’t make it seem like something to laugh about. There is nothing humorous about HIV issues.
I noticed that the boys have more questions than the girls. I am not sure why, but I would love to think that girls are more shy as compared to boys.
Anyway, we were discouraged by the school administrator to talk and push condoms as a preventive measure against HIV transmission, after all they are under the governance of the Christian way of life. So we didn’t mention any of it during the lecture.
But young minds are curious and smart. One boy straightforwardly asked me If condom is an effective means of preventing transmission of the virus. Since we are in the privacy of another room, I politely and tactfully answered his question and explained why. One kid even stayed behind when all were asked to go back to the main activity floor just too privately ask how would one know if he/ she might have gotten the virus it does not show symptoms of its presence.
I was so touched how receptive these kids were. I was moved to tears when we closed the activity with a prayer… the kid praying said gratitude for having people like us teach them all about STD, HIV/ AIDS and how they can protect themselves. And she prayed and thank for other things including help that they may be able to remember and practice what they have learned.
It is such a humbling experience to see young people accept these sorts of knowledge, which adult, ironically, take for granted.
I hope more school will be open to having this kind of learning experience in their school as this will definitely help the fight against HIV/ AIDS. Better yet, include and implement this very important subject in their curriculum. We did not have this kind of activities nor lectures back in my high school.
I hope to be able to facilitate my own HIV/ AIDS orientation soon.
I also hope to find time to visit SHC more often and perhaps do counseling there too :-)
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I was feeling a little low today… maybe because I have not been doing anything much lately (almost three weeks of bumming). My car is still not fixed and I am stuck at home all the time. So I decided to sing and record my efforts.
It’s really amazing how music have a positive impact in emotions because I felt better afterward.
There's nothing quite like the feeling we get when we give in to the power of music. Music can arouse our emotions and set off our memories. It can help us relax or become energized depending on the sort of beat it has. Music can bring about a lot of emotions and physical condition (mostly good one). But the unquestionable truth is that music has a magnificent healing power.
Doctors during World War II discovered that soldiers who were wounded and in shock, were rehabilitating faster when exposed to music. Hence, over the past few years, researchers spent significant amount of time studying music and its health benefits. Now we have what is called “music therapy”, where music is used in medical practices to cure both physiological and physical conditions.
Furthermore, music therapy has other benefits. You get better memory retention, you become happier, it helps boost appetite, promote positive attitude, etc. There have also been evidences that music can improve the immune system. So all PLWHIV (People Living With HIV) out there, make sure to stay “tuned”
Regardless of its type, music has the capability to stimulate the brain. Therefore, when you listen to music, depending on the type (fast or slow beat), your mind either becomes alert and sharp or calm and relaxed.
The brain respond to the type of music you listen to. Soft and soothing music has a calming effect on your nervous system, which help slows down your breathing and heart rate. This is very helpful in treating, stress, depression and anxiety. That’ is why they use relaxing music during meditation and cooling down exercises in the gym :-D
On the other hand, fast beat music makes the mind more alert and in consequence is very efficient in treating attention deficiency disorder.
Music is very good to be used as diverting the mind, in return, it helps lower down and ease chronic pains.
I remembered back when I was confined in Manila Doctor’s Hospital for drug reaction on the ARV (antiretroviral durgs) I initially took. I was on severe gastric pain that the pain killer that should last for 4-6 hours only stay with me for 45 minutes. What I did, I played music from my mobile phone and listened to it. For some strange reason, it helped me forget the pain I was suffering from.
Considering all the goodness music brings us, don’t be shy to sing in public, when your strolling, commuting, or just waiting on the bench (just make it too annoying for others), or give all you got when you’re in the shower.
Remember, music is food for the brain.
TGM signing the fist part of the song
“Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You”
(Video and music credits: handoyomia @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAYkw8YrUBk)