Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sweet Victory!

Arrival at the hotel with my friends.
“Every great achievement is the victory of a flaming heart.”, Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. It was just like yesterday when CON BATCH 13 dreamed of this victory and after the results of the December 2010 nursing board exams came out, we celebrated as if booze do not deserve another day. Finishing off second  nationwide with a passing rate of 98% and with 2 topnotchers, and you wonder why this is all a big deal? We have been aiming for this from the time the review started and we worked our asses of, burning our midnight candles, and now we reap the fruits of our labor.

Venue before the start of the program.

Ms. Eden Cagas rockin' her edgy ensemble.

I arrived at Dynasty Court Hotel around 7 in the evening with my friend Zhy Murillo, bumping into some of our batchmates while making our way to the 6th floor. We were greeted with smiles, hi’s and hello’s of the then nursing students who are now demanding to be called RN’s. The so-called ‘angels of the sick room’ ditched their plain white uniforms and scrubs with sexy frocks, LBD’s, and platform heels. 

It was a night meant to celebrate the victory after all the hard work, sleepless nights, and even the never-ending dilemma of which review center to trust and go to. And now, we have proven that it was never about the review centers, it was about us and the school which molded and helped us to be where we are right now.

Party people!
Wacky nurses!

With earrings as big as her personality,
host and President of the batch, Alora

Hosting the night away was Ms. Alora Sasam, the president of our batch, funny and witty as always. Joining her was Mr. RJ Dalida, who did an amazing job as well. The program kicked off with hot production numbers from selected people in the batch and an inspiring message from our Dean Ramona Heidi Palad, who is and always will  be our stage mother. The ever-charming President of the University, Fr. Jett Villarin SJ, who will be leaving the university in the next school year, also gave his speech. Videos reminiscing the past were played and an idea of a possible future career was also presented. 

Me together with the University President, Fr. Villarin and Dr. Ramona Palad,
Dean of the College of Nursing

Ms. Jessa Andalan, 5th placer and Micaela de Guzman, 10th placer were also interviewed by the hosts and we couldn’t have been more proud of their success. The night danced away with people singing and dancing, cameras flashing, and just merely catching up with friends, this might be our last get-together as a batch after all. While some people (like me, I know such a buzz killer, but I was too tired, really!) opted to go home after the party, some continued their after-party somewhere in the city and woke up still with a hangover the next day. But then again, it was very well worth it.

With the 5th and 10th place top notchers, Jessa and Micah
With friends Allira, Yani, and Nikki

With Yani, Zhy, and Tiffy

Credits to Ms. Iriane Tagapulot, who looked lovely in her brown-laced mini dress and Ms. Meg Damole, who looked stunning as well, for the pictures (yah, loser again for not bringing my own camera). Thanks to Tiffany Ilano, who was captivating in her striped green and blue top, and Zhy Murillo, who graced the event with a black and white ensemble, for the company that night.

 Sweet, sweet victory indeed!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

First of the Many

Finally, it was the long awaited weekend. My friends and I have been planning for this getaway ever since the tedious and grueling Nursing Licensure Exam review days a few months ago. And now that we are officially registered nurses, we felt we deserved this more than anything. We decided to leave Cagayan de Oro City by 1:00pm so that we would arrive at the City of Malaybalay by 3:00pm more or less. There is an annual Kaamulan Festival happening that anyone shouldn’t miss and we dare not pass on the opportunity. We had to ride the bus on the way there but because of the sheer excitement, we couldn’t care less as long as we arrive there safely. We stayed at the Murillo’s Residence for the entire trip and we had the house all by ourselves!
Zhy and Tiffany on the bus
Yani, moi, Tiffany and Zhy at Zhy's house

When we arrived at the city, the hustle and bustle of the upcoming events cannot be contained so we went immediately to the house to rest for a while (although ironically, we should have rested well on the two-hour bus ride) but hey, sitting for a long time could also be very tiring! After a few hours, my friend Zhy’s mom told us we should eat dinner at a local restaurant so that we could also stroll along the Capitol grounds. She offered to treat all of us so the decision to go or not was not that hard at all. The Capitol grounds was a very big space filled with lots of little stores selling almost anything of everything, we even stopped by a store which sells hermit crabs which looked a lot like snails and their shells were painted with cartoon characters, it was cute and unique but too expensive for a pet. After we ate at Sir Edward’s, we went home immediately to rest and prepare for the next day’s activity.

Waiting for our ride home
We woke up very early the next day to watch the street dancing and although it started a little bit late, it was very well worth the wait. Different tribes with colorful costumes and unique floats with intricate details paraded all over the streets. Dancers told stories through their dance and moved graciously with every beat of the drum and sound of music. Stories that must have been centuries old retold over and over again yet reflects how the tribe came to be. From the very wise and experienced elders down to the children who participated not only for fun but more importantly, for the love of culture and tradition. After the street dancing, we walked all over the city again, bumping into a couple of friends who were also enjoying the festive environment. After our lunch, we headed to the Kaamulan grounds to take pictures and then to a Korean store where some of my friends tried on a couple of dresses. We bought ‘pasalubong’ for our families and then decided to go home and rest. There was a concert featuring national artists earlier that night but we decided not to go and we settled for ice cream and girl bonding instead.

I woke up to the sound of the rain and cold weather the next day and we were supposed to go to mass together before going to the bus terminal but because of the rain, we decided to attend mass when we get back to CDO. The ride home was surprisingly faster and we were able to catch up a 12:30 mass at the Cathedral. After the mass, we all went our separate ways and headed home. It was the first out of town together with my friends and we are already planning a couple more throughout the year!

Unforgettable moments with awesome friends are worth treasured forever. :D