Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mak Chang Korean Restaurant

I'm actually not too keen on eating at korean restaurants. There are just a select few that I really enjoy eating in, like that obscure korean restaurant back in Cavite during my college days where the nice Korean lady always gave us second helpings of her side dishes and the bigger korean restaurant that emerged in the same area a few years later. Their cheese ramyeon was THE BEST.

Anyhow, when the BF urged me to try Mak Chang Korean Restaurant in Ermita, Manila, I initially decline saying I preferred a different cuisine that time (me and my mood swings). I gave in at the end though and was I glad that I changed my mind! When we entered the restaurant, it was surprisingly spacious and well-ventilated (a must when restaurants have dishes that require cooking right on your table).

Based on the reviews and recommendations, we ordered the Beef Galbi (Php650) and SamKyubsal (Php300). We were served with several side dishes as well which included soup, scrambled egg, kimchi, sweet potato, and this spicy onion salad that made everything taste better!

I love love LOVED the Beef Galbi! The meat was tender and juicy. In fact, I could have eaten it on its own without wrapping it in lettuce or dipping it in sauce. I wish we ordered another serving of Beef Galbi instead of the SamKyubsal. The Samgyupsal was alright, though the meat was a bit hard to chew after it was well cooked.

Service was amazingly fast despite the number of diners that night. We went on a weekday around 6pm. There were a lot of Koreans dining there as well, so you know it's a good restaurant! The waitstaff were efficient and friendly as well. 

I'm glad I was able to try this restaurant. I'm surprised I never heard of Mak Chang before now. I would like to try their other dishes when I dine here again!

Do you have any good korean restaurants to recommend?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Next Chapter

Surprise, surprise. I've decided to update this long-forgotten blog of mine. I know I mentioned in my last post that I would be blogging about my recent travels in the States and in Cebu but I haven't gotten around to actually doing it. If you followed me on Instagram (@pycotas), you would see my snaps though. 

So. Life lately has been such a blur that I need to remind myself to take pause and breathe. By a fortunate twist of events early this year, I cut my "rest period" short and landed myself a spot as a Pediatric resident in one of the oldest private hospitals in Manila. I was slated to travel to Vietnam and Cambodia this summer but as fate would have it, my medical career became my top priority. No complaints about that though. Because the earlier I finish residency, the more time (and money haha) I have for travel later on.


I must say, though, residency is no joke. I am beginning to understand why so many newly minted physicians opt to do moonlighting after the board exams rather than starting residency. Moonlighting gives you so much freedom and I guess more money than residency. But I have always had misgivings about moonlighting. I do not have enough confidence, knowledge, and skills to fly solo in a hospital setting. Hence, my preference to start residency. 

I had no second thoughts about pursuing Pediatrics for my chosen specialty. I enjoyed my pediatrics rotation in clerkship/internship and I can't see myself in a different field at all. 


Almost two months into residency and I can say that the journey is tough. It's like climbing a supremely difficult mountain with jagged rocks the entire way up. There will always be obstacles that will test your patience and your resolve. Duties go by where I question my every move and decision. I'm probably the most insecure resident there ever was, although I know that some feel the same way.

How badly do you want this? 

                                               "My heart swings back and forth between the need for routine and the urge to run.":

If I am to be honest, thoughts of quitting have been making rounds in my brain lately especially when I'm from duty. Days when I feel physically, emotionally, and mentally battered (abuse, teh?). But then I keep reminding myself that I've worked so hard to be where I am right now. Why stop now? 

I know I have so much to offer in the practice of medicine and I will simply have to work harder to achieve that consultancy position (and that long coat!).

                             I remember the days I prayed for the things I have now. – Unknown:

Just be strong. Have faith. Don't quit.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Resurrected & Licensed


I can't believe this blog is still around after I've left it idle for the past four months. So much has happened that I feel like I can't put everything I feel into words. For starters, I am already a licensed physician! Three months of intensive studying and praying (plus the four years of medical school and one year of internship) has paid off. During the review, there were days when I would question my ability and potential, and there would be times when I wondered whether all my effort would be worth it in the end.

But now, I feel like I've reached the summit, my goals, and I feel that I'm on the edge ready to jump headfirst into whatever new adventure I want to dive in.

But for now, I am content staying at home and reconnecting with family, dogs, and friends. Those were things that I used to sacrifice a lot during medical school. It's nice to be able to take a breather in between and take time to decide what I want to do with life. It's been a bit of a shock to my system, though, during the first few days after the boards. From having my days constantly filled up to doing absolutely nothing except eat and sleep, I found myself bored silly.

Thank God for (adult) coloring books!

I also did a couple of moonlighting gigs a few days ago in a clinic. It was scary at first (hello, all on your own with no seniors!) but it was a good challenge. I learned to rely on my instincts and available resources. I saw cases I haven't seen before either.

On another good note, I have plans to travel for the rest of my "rest period" and things are getting underway. I can finally blog about my travels instead of purely medically related things. I'm so excited about it! Stay tuned for more updates. :)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Intern's Graduation 2015

Well, 365 days of internship is over and done with just like that! I have already packed up my bags, moved out of my dorm of 9 years (WHAT), and now all my things are dumped inside my bedroom at home. I'll be starting my 3-month review for the upcoming board exams this week and it will definitely be a change in pace. No more exhausting 24-hour duties and sleepless nights in the hospital. No more weekly conferences, bedside rounds, case reports, and scary consultants (I'm kidding). I am going to miss a lot of things and people from our campus/hospital but I believe it's high time that we move on to hopefully bigger and better things ahead.

© Joshua Arcaira

© Joshua Arcaira

Yes, I think I will definitely miss the people. The ones that I have worked beside with: my residents and the consultants, my group mates, my junior interns, and even my patients from whom I have learned the most from. The future is scary and anxiety-inducing but they say that you know that the future is happening when you start to be scared, and I'd like to believe that. Acceptance is key. Things change and we move on because that is how we grow as a person.

I'm trying to summon up all the courage that I have though, in order to get through the following months. I only pray that I survive and get out of the other side, alive and victorious.

"You get a strange feeling when you leave a place, like you'll not only miss the people you love, but you miss the person you are at this time and place because you'll never be this way again."

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Top 7 Travel Blogs That You Should Read

It's no secret by now in this blog that I have an insatiable thirst for travel. My case of wanderlust is chronic and terminal (so to speak) that I believe that there is no cure, except to explore and travel more. To temporarily quench this thirst, I have settled into browsing Pinterest (check out my travel board!) and reading travel blogs for travel inspiration. A little daydreaming and a much-needed mental escape from your own home goes a long way to fuel those dreams, believe me.

There are many travel websites and blogs out there on the internet but it can all be a bit overwhelming with all the details and personal experiences from each. I have somehow whittled it down to several blogs that I visit on a regular basis. I have found that each blogger is unique and has let their own personality shine through in their blog posts.

Let me indulge you in your own wanderlust as I share some of my favorite travel blogs. :)

Instagram: worldwanderlust

Brooke Saward, the girl behind World of Wanderlust, is a solo female traveller who hails from Australia. She has been to practically every country that I've longed to visit (plus more!). Her posts are always informative and practical. PLUS: She has tips for all types of travel and she talks about the ups and downs of solo female travelling!

Instagram: OverseasEscape

Margo, along with her husband Dan, have been travelling and touring Europe for a couple of years now. Their destinations, which involve picturesque views and charming towns, are enough to set my Europe-starved heart into a skipping beat. Going through her entries are always a treat, plus Margo is so sweet and down-to-earth!

Instagram: rosielondoner

Rosie of The Londoner fills her blog not only with tales of her travels to exotic locations (she's a water baby!), but also of her own delicious-looking recipes and restaurant/shopping discoveries. All her photos look amazing and her dog Custard, a Maltese cross Yorkie, is the cutest!

Instagram: ruerodier

Marissa is a Londoner who moved to Paris in 2013 and has documented her life in Paris through her food and lifestyle posts. I especially love that she travelled to the Banaue Rice Terraces here in the Philippines just last month!

Instagram: grandeurtraveler

Dr. Amadeus Baraan (yes, he is a doctor!) is the man behind Grandeur Traveler. He is a Filipino, a doctor who specializes in dermatology, and an avid traveler. I love his blog because he features local destinations as well as iconic landmarks abroad. One question that I would like answered though, is how he manages to travel so much despite his line of work! This guy is living the life that I want!

Instagram: ThePoorTraveler

The Poor Traveler was created by two guys who are Philippine-based and who wanted to do more in life than just their 8-5 office jobs. Their blog entries pack a punch of info and humor that makes it an enjoyable read. They have been featured on several magazines and websites, so you know they're legit.

Instagram: thetravelhack

This is probably one of the most useful travel websites out there. Looking for tips on how to pack? How to survive a particular city? How to save money AND get the best out of traveling? Wondering what are the best luggage and gadgets to bring while on the road? Look no further! Luxury travel meets budget travel in The Travel Hack!


So there goes my list of Top 7 travel blogs! I hope I have inspired you to travel more! 

"It's better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times."

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Summer Withdrawal

The stuff my daydreams are made of these days (circa 2012)

Hello world!!!

No, I haven't dropped dead yet nor have I packed my bags and moved to a different country although I wholeheartedly wish I were lying on the beach somewhere, sipping an ice-cold margarita. I miss blogging, I really do. Not long after my last blog post, I was certain that it would be a long time before I could write another one. Blogging simply wasn't a priority anymore or, rather, I have pushed it towards the back of my mind even during weekends. But there will always come a time, much like today, when I would feel the urge to write something down just to unload it off my mind.

We have exactly 40 days until senior internship ends! Boy, the year went by fast. In the hospital, our junior interns are already counting down the days until they graduate next month (they end JIship in 9 days!) while we senior interns still have more than a month left to go. I feel like pushing a pause button and go, "WAIT! It feels like we just started internship. We're not ready to take the board exam yet!" Yep, we have 5 months to go before the Physician Licensure Exam and I am. now. freaking. out. like. hell. I am ashamed to admit that I haven't done any serious studying for the past 10 months of internship but I'm trying to catch up now. Reality is sinking in. (Finally.) 

I'll be moving to Manila by May to start reviewing for the board exam and I'll be staying in a condo for 3 months. That would be a first for me. (I will also disappear from the world wide web during the review) But as much as I don't want internship to end yet, a part of me is looking forward to the next big adventure in my life.  Board exam review and the board exam itself? Hell yeah, BRING IT ON! 

So anyway, it has dawned on me only recently that it is already actually SUMMER (disoriented, I know). Can I just say how envious I am of people who are at the beach right now? Your pictures in Facebook and Instagram just fuel my desires to travel right at this very second! :( I will just have to live vicariously through your blogs and social media feeds while I'm stuck in the hospital.

"Not all who wander are lost" -JRR Tolkien

Speaking of hospital, I'm already in my Pediatrics rotation. It's interesting with a bit of patient drama on the side (more on that in another post). It's hard work (x10) but that's okay. It will soon be over. I still want to be a pediatrician. :)

Alright, that's it. I'll go do something productive now. Maybe study Microbiology or Pharmacology...or update my travel bucket list.

Ciao! :)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Snapshot Saturday #4 // Love Month

Paradise in the middle of a bustling metropolis

How was everyone's February? Here's to hoping you all received flowers, chocolates, hugs, kisses, and everything your hearts desired! My love month was more or less the same as any other ordinary month. I was on duty on the 14th but was lucky enough to receive some of my favorite chocolates. :)

My Obstetrics & Gynecology rotation is now on its last stretch and I can say that I have enjoyed my two months assessing pregnant patients. If anything, my skills have marginally improved since my junior internship days. I particularly enjoyed my time spent in the Emergency Room and seeing patients who are about to give birth, who just gave birth (inside a van just literally outside our ER), and those who seek consult for abnormal bleeding (some which turn out to be spontaneous abortions, others ectopic pregnancies). I enjoyed doing internal examinations (which is REALLY hard to master, by the way), Pap smears and TMG's.

Our final rotation is starting in a week: Pediatrics. This rotation is something I really want to get right because I'm interested in specializing in Pediatrics after I pass the board exam. I'm still not entirely sure why I want to take up Pediatrics but I just have this strong feeling about it. We'll see if I can nurture that feeling in my last two months of senior internship.

Anyway, here's Grumpy Cat showing you all some loving for this February! Haha! 

Have a great day, everyone! :)