#TheSW30 Day 27: Talk about something that you really, really, really love about yourself.

Today is the 27th of the single woman’s 30 day blogging challenge and I am tasked to talk about something I really, really, really love about myself.

So, what do I love about myself?

First, I love my teeth and my smile. This teeth that I have is precious. When I was young my teeth were unaligned, but I wore braces after I graduated college. I wore my orthodontic braces for 8 years. Although I already lack one second molar on my right side of my lower teeth, I still feel blessed even if it is lacking and even if it’s not perfect. I had two dentists who fixed my teeth alignment. The first one was Dr. Van Caraan with assistance from Dr. Miriam, and the second was Dr. Ryan Soriano of Radiant Smile Clinic in Calapan, a board top-notcher in Dentistry Board Exam in his time. Before my teeth was aligned, I had a lateral incisor on the left side of my upper teeth that my dentist rotated 180 degrees plus another 90 degrees. I thought it was impossible, but it was rotated. Amazing.

One of the reasons I did not pursue my childhood dream of becoming a news reporter was because of my teeth. It was sungki sungki when I was a child since grade 4, because I was afraid of dentists. I wanted to become a journalist before, but it changed. I pursued Nursing and I have no regrets that I chose it as my course.

One of the things I also like about myself is my spirit of not giving up easily. I was not born genius, in fact I was very sickly when I was young. But, I persevered in school. I studied really hard and I stayed up late at night. I did not study at a prestigious university, but I still feel blessed that I studied where I took my Nursing undergraduate program in Remedios Trinidad Romualdez Memorial Schools – Makati Medical Center at Makati City.

Another thing that I like about myself is my voice. I don’t have a diva like voice. I can’t reach very high notes and even very low notes. Even so, I like my voice. I was once the voice actor of the protagonist in a play that “The Artiste Guild” (TAG) organization produced in MegaMall, when I was still in college. I once also went to ABS-CBN’s Showtime, a person there said that, “try ko daw sa radio”, because of my voice. But, I didn’t tried auditioning. haha.

Thank you God for creating me fearfully and wonderfully.

#TheSW30 Day 25: Describe a moment when you “paid it forward.” What happened and how did it feel?

This is my 25th entry for the single woman’s 30 day blogging challenge.

First, what does “paid it forward” mean?

Pay it forward is an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying the kindness to others instead of to the original benefactor. The concept is old, but the particular phrase may have been coined by Lily Hardy Hammond in her 1916 book “In the Garden of Delight”.

Someone once told me that we cannot give to others if we ourselves are not full. So, I am thankful to God for all the blessings He bestowed on me. God granted me the opportunity to study for college and to be in medical school even for two years only. I was also given the opportunity to be in graduate school at UP Manila for the MHA program, even when I haven’t finished it because I failed one subject just before I take my comprehensive exam. Even then, I was well provided for my education. Thanks to my mama and tatay/ Dr. RJ, who treated me as one of his children even when I am not his own child.

Another blessing that was given to me was the bike I am using since the start of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) as a donation from Sir Joel Paler. There came a time when vehicles for transport like jeepneys, taxis and buses even tricycles were banned to operate during the ECQ due to the Covid-19 or the Corona Virus Disease Pandemic.

The ECQ started from March 17, 2020 until May 31, 2020. During those period, in order to limit the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Philippines, lockdowns, officially characterized as “community quarantines” by the government, of varying strictness were imposed in numerous parts of the country. The “enhanced community quarantine” (ECQ) is the strictest of such measures. The largest of these measures was the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, most specifically in NCR.

Last May 18, 2020, I found a page in Facebook where they collect bikes for donation for frontliners. In that page, I saw Sir Joel Paler placed a comment that he is willing to donate his bike and that he is living near Dapitan corner San Diego street. Thank God that he is living just a few streets away from where I currently live in Carola Street beside UST Manila. So, I messaged him and asked if he is willing to lend me his bike, but to my surprise he gave the bike to me with inclusions of helmet and chain lock. I am grateful because there were no jeepneys and even taxis during that time. I praise God for his provision. Sir Joel is a nice person. Instead of letting me buy his bike, he encouraged me to share to others so they will do the same. I feel blessed on that day.

Bike given to me by Sir Joc Paler last May 18, 2020 #ECQ

So, how will I be able to repay his kindness to me?

I don’t know how I could do that but I was given the opportunity to give at a certain cause. However, I will not mention to where I gave the money that I had, but it let me feel that I have the ability to be kind to others. I feel delighted and blessed that I was given that chance. Thank you God for the opportunity.

#TheSW30 Day 18: If you could have a conversation with yourself in high school, what would you say?

If I can have a conversation with myself in high school, I would tell her this:

Dear young Jaenara,

(Jaenara is the name my classmates and teachers call me in high school)

I know how hard life for you is during your high school years. You were the eldest among your siblings and your parents got separated. You felt the burden of being the eldest. I know that you got disappointed too of not being able to take your entrance exam for Philippine Science High School (your dream school) because your family was struggling financially. I know that you have prepared for it. You studied for it during your summer enhancement classes after you graduated grade school with an engineer tutor. But, I know that you know during those times, you can’t afford to study in Manila because of financial reasons.

There were unanswered prayers. I know how lonely you were because your mom was not living with you during your high school years in Bicol. But, I know even when your mom was afar; she was working for you and your siblings, since she was the breadwinner in the family. She loves you so much as much as she loves your siblings. I know that you felt saddened also that your father is always drunk during those times. Though, your papa had vices, he was always there to support and encourage you. I know that you love your parents no matter how imperfect they were because of their weaknesses. Although they were imperfect, they were the perfect parents for you. They have their strengths too which added to how you grew and was raised.

On your first day of high school, you were not the girl who gets the most attention. But, I am proud of you because you were open to be friends with your other classmates too, who were achievers (honor students, athletes) in their previous grade schools. You did not let it hinder you to do your best to achieve your goal to be first honor.

I know how hard you worked for it. You studied and read your books instead of watching TV, you made your assignments with out delay. You slept late reading and there were times that you slept on your study table at night. You even rose early because you need to commute from your home in Baao to Iriga City.

I am so proud of you that you did not let all your problems and challenges consume you. Instead you rose up to face them all. You even balanced your extra curricular activities and your academics. How were you able to do that?

Although, I know also that you were also a teenager that time, you also had crushes. Your crushes were not attracted to you because you were a nerd. hahaha. But it’s okay. They were not Mr. Right. I am glad that you did not let your other friends pressure you in delinquency and vices.

You were just a silent girl who was always sitting in the front row. You were not a wall flower because you were a confident competitive student but you were a late bloomer.

I am so proud of you that you graduated Valedictorian. It was one of your best achievement so far. Other than being a Valedictorian, you were also an Editor in Chief of your school publication, and recipient of so many awards and recognition.

Jaenara, God is so good in your younger years! He enabled you to accomplish all those things. God is so faithful and gracious to you. You are a blessed and beloved child of God.

I am glad that you did not give up despite the challenges that you faced. I love you! No matter what challenges that I may face in the coming days. I will always look back to how God provided for you as a scholar in high school and how He was faithful to you that He is indeed a rewarder of people who are patient and who perseveres despite trials in life.

With love and care,

Ma. Jaenara M. Bitao (29 years old)

Ma. Jaenara M. Bitao, High School Valedictorian 2007 with her Papa Tito Bitao
These were some of my awards back in highschool. I am the girl at the bottom center part. Praise God! 🙏💟💐🎓

#TheSW30 Day 17: What are your spiritual beliefs and how do they impact your relationships/relationship status?

My spiritual beliefs greatly affect my perspective on my relationship status. I am a Christian who happens to be a nurse. I believe in passion and purity. I believe that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I believe that I should only be yoked with a believer too. I believe that sex is a gift from God that should only be done and enjoyed by married couples. I believe that anyone can change for the better. I believe that I am a sinner, undeserving but saved by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I believe in Jesus Christ, the son of God who was conceived by the Holy Spirit 2000 years ago, born of the Virgin Mary, who was crucified, was beaten, bruised and was wounded, who was placed a crown of thorns in His head, who died, was buried and who rose again from the dead after three days, who ascended into heaven and who is seated at the right hand of the Father Almighty. I believe that He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

The one who never sinned and was pure was crucified on the cross for my sins. God, the Heavenly Father is an unfair but just and loving God, because He allowed and let His own son die on the cross for an undeserving person like me to save me from eternal damnation because of my sins (past, present and future). I believe that JESUS is a healer, a teacher, a miracle worker, a disciple maker, a man full of wisdom and honor. He turned water into wine. He resurrected Lazaruz from the dead. He wept. He cast away demons. He calms the raging storm and the sea with His word.

I believe that I am beloved child of God, (fully loved and fully accepted by Someone Amazing ) He loves you too (even at your worst). He knows what being rejected and betrayed felt like. He loves me so much that whatever sin I committed, He has already forgiven (all of my unknown secrets).

Jesus Christ, He can transform lives. He is a friend of tax collectors, sinners and the brokenhearted people. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe that angels exist. I believe in everlasting life. I believe in spiritual battles not seen, I believe in the beauty of heaven and the fires of hell. I believe that Jesus laid down His life for His friends. I believe that Jesus is victorious against the enemy. I believe that the thief (the enemy) came to steal, kill and destroy; but Jesus came that we may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10).

But when I think about our salvation, God did not send His Son because we kept asking Him to forgive us. While we were still enemies of God – He gave His Son for us entirely and absolutely out of His initiative (Romans 5:8-10).

I pray for all of my friendships and relationships. I pray for Godly friends who will guide me, encourage me and rebuke me with love in this walk and journey.

I believe that anyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved. (Acts 2:21)

#TheSW30 Day 15: Narrate a conversation between you and someone in your life who you never had closure with. What would you say? What would they say? What outcome would you hope for?

This is a little difficult, but I will try. I have friends I have in mind, that I have not had any closure with.

Friend A:

Dear Mr. Board Exam Topnotcher,

I miss you my friend. I loved you, this is true. I apologize for the hurtful words that I said. I was sick. I wish you know that you mean a lot to me.. I wish we are still friends. I really got hurt when you blocked me in facebook and you threw years of our friendship away. I hope we can start anew and be friends again. Although there is no us and there never was, I forgive you for the hurtful words you said to me. I pray for your success and happiness. God bless!

Mr. Board Exam Topnotcher: Yes, Jaea. I forgive you. Let’s put the past behind and start anew. Let’s be friends. I pray for your success and happiness as well. God bless you.

Friend B:

Dear Miss Elementary Valedictorian,

I miss you my friend. I got hurt when you unfriended me in facebook, when all I just wanted is for you to exercise with me and run the marathon with me. I know it’s difficult because at that time we are both chubby, but I hope you understand that I just care for you. I don’t want you to be obese. It saddened me when you threw our friendship away. I apologize if I offended you, but all I wanted is for you to get better physically. I wish I can celebrate our birthday together, since we both have the same birthday. I still love you. Friends?

Miss Elementary Valedictorian: Yes Jaea. I miss you too. I forgive you. Let’s be friends again and let’s celebrate our birthday some time together. I will love myself from now on by taking care of my body and I will exercise. Let’s be friends again. Hug!

Friend C:

Dear Mr. Summa Cum Laude,

Doc, I’m really thankful that I met you. I’m thankful for the days and nights that I spent with you at duty. You inspired me to do my best and to move on from your friend. I told you what hurt me before and you just did it too. Hahaha! (Ano ba?! Haha) I got hurt when you blocked me in facebook, when all I wanted was to be friends with you. I don’t know why you blocked me, but I’m trying to understand. I pray you finish your residency. I pray that you may reach all your dreams in life. Til we meet again. When I see you again in the hospital, please don’t ignore me. I will call your name and I will say Hi! God bless on your duty.

Mr. Summa Cum Laude: Hello Ma’am Jaea! I am just busy with my residency and I am so focused that I don’t want distractions, that’s why I blocked you. I don’t know what to do with you. Hahaha! When we see each other again, I will not ignore you and I will say Hi Ma’am Jea! God bless!

Friend D:

Dear Miss Future MD,

I miss you my friend. Please know that I love you, even though we don’t have the same principles and beliefs in life. I hope you get to know JESUS someday. I got hurt when you told me that you are an agnostic. I pray that God will meet you where you are now. I got hurt when you unfriended me in facebook. I pray that you may reach all your dreams in life. I pray for your happiness and success. I don’t want you to keep thinking about negativity. I wish to see your genuine smile and your beautiful face. You are a child of God, a beautiful creation of God, I hope you know that. If I reach out to you someday soon, I pray you’ll not reject me. But if you will reject me, I will keep trying. I wish you know how beautiful your name is. May you have joy in your heart by knowing Christ and by accepting Him as your Lord and savior. Til we meet again, my friend.

Miss Future MD: Hi Jaea! I miss you. I will study well for my family and my future. Thank you for the friendship and the prayers. Til we meet again.

But then again, people may plan all kinds of things but the Lord’s will is going to be done.

#TheSW30 Day 14: Describe the last moment you felt really, truly blissful

It has been a while since my last entry. The last moment I felt really truly blissful was when I went home to Bicol to be with my father on his birthday last February 6, 2020.

We went to Auntie Nene’s (My father’s only sister) and Uncle Jess Osea’s (auntie Nene’s husband) beach resort at Nato, Camarines Sur. It was fun!

It has been years since the last time that I have been to a beach with my Papa Tito. I learned from going there that my papa’s favorite snack is sinapot (fried floured saba banana). I enjoyed that time, my papa, auntie Nene and uncle Jess cooked our food for lunch. The food was delicious! The fish were taken fresh from the pond.

Laing, Fried Tilapia, Sinigang and etc
Sinapot, Papa’s favorite snack

However, I was the only one who swam at the beach. I love beaches! I love walking in the sand barefoot. It has been a while since I really had a relaxing time because it has always been a toxic time at work back in the hospital.

One of the things that made me happy when I went to Bicol was when I learned that my papa still kept my medals back in High School. I was the Valedictorian back then in 2007. All praise belongs to God. I was touched. 😊

However, I still feel like it would be much more better if Paolo and Kim was with me too. I’m sure papa misses the both of them as well. Til next time!

#TheSW30 Day 13: Describe how you met the last person you texted and talk about your friendship/relationship

Day-13

Hi! I am on day 13 already of the single woman’s 30 day blogging challenge: Describe how you met the last person you texted and talk about your friendship/relationship.

The last person that I texted is Iya. She is a daughter, a friend, a neonatal intensive care unit nurse as well, an enthusiast, a courageous and a spontaneous person, Iya, born on December 24, 1989. I met her when I applied as a staff nurse in Manila Med last June 2017. I was hired at Manila Med as a General Nursing Unit Staff Nurse last June 21, 2017 up to August 2017. We both belong to Athena batch 22 training of the hospital together with Mer, Lyza, Claud, Jeff, Carmi, April and Nica. Iya and I did not last long in Manila Med, same with Lyza, Mer, Jeff and April. They took an absence with out leave but I resigned.

Last 2017, we were subdivided into three areas during the first two months of duty. Nica and I were assigned to 7th extension. On the other hand, Iya, Mer and Carmi were assigned at 7th main, while Jeff and Lyza were assigned at 8th main; Then, April and Claud was assigned at 9th Extension, Claud later on became a charge nurse at 9th extension, where I was reassigned after two months of being in the 7th extension after facing an issue at work of being sleepy and unable to completely follow through orders and have had a misunderstanding with a coworker.

Iya and Mer transferred to Pasig Doctors Hospital after leaving Manila Med. However, I went home to Calapan and applied at Children’s Medical Hospital and worked for a week only as a pediatric nurse last September of 2017, which then was the time when I was waiting to be accepted at Philippine General Hospital (PGH) as a nurse. Iya told me to work with them at Pasig Doctors Hospital last year. However, I refused because I was waiting for PGH. After some time, I was accepted at PGH as a neonatal intensive care unit nurse and worked at the institution for only three months because I had an issue again at work. I was advised by my chief nurse to take a break for a while and present a medical certificate that I am fit to work. Until now, I have not given the medical certificate yet, because my doctor told me to just transfer to another hospital.

I reunited again with Iya after I left PGH and during the time that I started my review for IELTS. She will be taking up IELTS as well with Mer this July 2018. I am planning to take the IELTS too with them. I have been reviewing with Iya and she is a nice friend.

One day, Iya asked me to review with her at Coffee Bean, Robinson’s Magnolia 1PM. So, one special Sunday, it was Mother’s day dated 13 of May. I greeted my mom and prepared to go to a Sunday service, wore a blue dress and a J-Hope Socks with my special hiking pink Clort shoes which I used when I went to Mount Ulap, together with my pink back pack. So, on that day I went to Coffee bean after the Sunday service at Victory U-belt. I walked from church to Legarda station, near San Beda College Mendiola, the school where I attended Medicine last 2014. I rode the LRT and stopped at Gilmore station, which is a few steps away from Robinson’s Magnolia.

When I arrived at the place, I opened the door and I was startled to see an old friend who blocked me in facebook, wearing a white shirt and an eyeglasses. He did not change.. he is still good looking. haha. But I turned around immediately and went to the door. When I was about to hold the glass door, I heard him call my name “Jaea”, but I did not look back, because I might be wrong.. (guni guni ko lang siguro) and it is embarassing to look back. What would I tell him? I don’t know what to say so, I walked away. And so, I left coffee bean and went instead to the comfort room, I processed my thoughts because I was still in a state of shock. However, I remembered Iya.. that we are supposed to have our review at the said place. I conquered my fear and went back. I stayed outside the coffee bean while waiting for Iya. I sat down, turned on my portable mini black fan and read few pages from my academic book about grammar. Then, thank heavens, Iya came. I told her about the guy in a white shirt sitting on a table facing the glass wall of coffee bean. Iya and I went inside and chose the table on the right most part at the back part, beside the mirror facing the back of the guy in white shirt, the most distant table from where the guy was sitting. We took our ordered beverages and started reviewing for IELTS.

After some time, Iya told me that the guy changed his sitting position and faced us. I was surprised. He was studying I think and infront of him was his lap top. After reviewing, Iya and I needed to leave the coffeebean because we need to be somewhere else. I asked Iya if I should say goodbye or hello because we will walk past him once we leave. She told me not to call his attention because if he was interested in me, he would approach us, but he did not. So, I did not bid farewell to him when we left.

I thank God for Iya’s life because if she was not around, I would not know what to do, since I am in the process of moving on with the guy. It’s been so long already, in fact I have not been thinking about him for a while because I was busy at work and reviewing for IELTS. However, our paths crossed again.

Moreover, I went with Iya at Benefit and Mac Cosmetics. I accompanied her while she bought an eye definer for the “kilay”, I don’t really know the exact name. I will ask her. And she also bought a makeup for contour. Then, we watched the first song of Hajji Alejandro’s mall show special for mother’s day entitled “May minamahal”, then we went to Dashing Diva and had a pedicure. She chose the light pink color and I chose the black nail polish.

In the next succeeding days after that Sunday, I am meeting up with Iya and Mer, reviewing for IELTS, either at Coffeebean, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. We also went to a gym at Pine Crest and exercised. We ate chiken inasal together with Mer at J.T’s in the middle of the night after reviewing. Then, we also ate at Pao Tsin, Robinsons’ Magnolia’s food court. Also, Iya, Mer and I had watched already a movie, a horror film about Jigsaw, last 2017 at Robinsons Magnolia too while eating pop corn. Other than that, Iya accompanied me in buying cosmetics of L’oreal Paris. She told me also to watch make up tutorials in youtube for personal development and for me to look prettier. I learned so many things from her, from makeup and enjoying and being spontaneous in life.

We will be having a sleep over at my unit this Wednesday night with Mer to review for IELTS. Thank you for Iya’s life. I found a friend.

#TheSW30 Day 12: Your proudest accomplishment

Day-12Hi! I am on day 12 already of the single woman’s 30 day blogging challenge: Your proudest accomplishment.

I am 27 years old by now and my proudest accomplishment was when I graduated Valedictorian in High School and Cum Laude in the Bachelor of Science of Nursing.

I have been accepted as well in the Master of Hospital Administration (MHA) program of the University of the Philippines Manila. But I was not able to finish my degree and I just had 34 units from the said program, because I failed Epidemiology and got a grade of 5.00. I was devastated but I know UP teaches their students as well on how to be resilient, though some times they might fail their students too. I have been blessed to have attended the MHA program of the university. I am blessed with the colleagues and the professors that I have met.

For God’s glory, I won’t back down. I know I have a wonderful future ahead of me because I have a great God. I am a depression fighter. Carry on Jaea! 🙂

#TheSW30 Day 11: Your worst/funniest/most embarrassing date

Day-11

Hi! I am on day 11 already of the single woman’s 30 day blogging challenge: Your worst/funniest/most embarrassing date.

Well, I have been in to a lot of dates already, with my ex boyfriends and some of my friends; but my worst date was when I had to go to the movies with my ex boyfriend to watch a film which I have forgotten already. I was asleep the entire movie for I was so tired from duty and since my fourth ex boyfriend was a nursing student as well that time, we had difficulty blending in our schedule because he belongs in the other section. He also has duties as well in the hospital. Finding time is one of the most difficult part of being in a relationship especially when the both of you are busy with school requirements and family engagements. We were legal by the way, both of our families know that my fourth ex and I are in a relationship.

So, to compensate with the relationship that my ex and I had, most of our quality time spent together was at their house. His father would cook our food or his grandmother would buy food from the outside so we can eat while studying for the upcoming exams. We study exclusively together at their house. I helped him pass most of the exams by teaching him pharmacology and microbiology. We were on our third year that time.

Nonetheless, my funniest date was when I was invited by a friend to attend a valentine date at a church where I have been involved for three years as part of the music ministry from 2011 to 2013. That was the time when my fourth ex boyfriend broke up with me, year 2011. I was depressed during the college week and I was a fourth year graduating nursing student that time, filled with loads of requirements that needs to be passed. But I still went to the valentine date entitled “Keep Falling In Love”. My valentine date that time was a lot younger than me because there was a draw-lots of hearts and my other pair of heart was with a young boy named Matt. I really enjoyed that night. I found new friends, Christian friends.

I realized that when we give our heart’s broken pieces to the LORD, He is faithful to mend it all again. He will give us a new heart and a renewed right spirit within. Jesus can love us more than we could ever imagine. He knows how being rejected felt like and He knows what is inside of our hearts and minds even if we have not articulated them yet. He knows the past, the present and the future.