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Our Wedding Anniversary
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Last January 28 me and my husband celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. For the past years we celebrated privately. It used to be a dinner with the kids and that's it. Sometimes we watched a movie before the dinner and on other times we stroll along the beach before the dinner. Since we are both working and the kids are schooling, we avoided too much preparation. Even my kids' birthdays were celebrated in different restaurants. I cannot remember anymore the last time we had a party at home.

Our anniversary fell on a Sunday. My husband prodded me to celebrate it with close family members. We invited my mom, my dad, my sister and her family (they live in Quezon City), and my uncle and his wife who arrived from Italy and are just staying here for a month. Most of my husband's relatives stay in Catanduanes, Bicol. It is difficult for them to come on occasions like this.

Me and my husband did all the preparation. We bought everything fresh from the market. We were together until we finished cooking. We were tired but I really had a grand time. It was FUN! Ginataang hipon (photo above) and alimango are the favorites in our menu. We also cooked adobong pusit, campis, pancit guisado, inihaw na bangus, and inihaw na pusit. It was just bad I failed to take pictures of all the food. I was really busy that day.

Our guests entertained themselves by taking turns in singing. That's my eldest boy holding the microphone(photo above). He is singing In The Navy alternating it with W.M.C.A. for the nth time. My sister and her daughter are the ones sitting near him.

Unknowingly, tears rolled down from my eyes as I watched my parents sing together with the song Love Story. It was so many years ago when I last saw them as close as this physically. Much more hear them sing together. I may feel very tired that day because of all the preparation but nothing compares to the happiness that I felt. That day was very memorable to me and I will cherish it for the rest of my life.
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 5:45 PM   0 comments
San Fabian Town Fiesta
Tuesday, January 23, 2007

San Fabian is a town in Pangasinan around 16 kilometers away from Dagupan City, the city of bangus, our national fish. Our town is famous for its tuyo (dried fish). It is not salty as compared to the tuyo from other towns of Pangasinan.

San Fabian town fiesta is celebrated annually on January 19 and 20. There is the annual search for Mrs. San Fabian and of course, for Miss San Fabian. For several years now, these thrones are in the hands of balikbayans. They are those people who are originally from this town but are now living abroad.

For several days before the feast day, lots of civic celebrations and activities are already being held. There was the amateur boxing competition, marathon competition, pretty boys competition, Miss Gay San Fabian, and free medical-dental mission. These activities kept everyone busy and high in spirit as every body await for the main events, the crowning of the beauties. Coronation for Mrs. San Fabian took place on the night of January 18 and for Miss San Fabian on January 19.

On the morning of the pre-feast day, January 19, people already crowded the main streets as early as 7 AM to wait for the passing of the parade. Sounds coming from sirens, drums, and loud music can be heard coming from the plaza indicating that the parade is ready to pass anytime.

There were 10 floats all in all. One for the San Fabian Market Association, another for the Savants Club, then one each for Miss and Mrs. San Fabian 2006. The big and beautiful floats adorned with fresh flowers of different kinds were those of the reigning queens for this year, Mrs. San Fabian 2007 and Miss San Fabian 2007. The First and Second Princesses of each title had also their own floats. Each float is being followed by street dancers and by the officers and members of different schools and civic organizations.

This is the last float in the parade, that of Miss San Fabian 2007.
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 7:51 AM   0 comments
Friday, January 19, 2007
My patient today is my uncle who just came from Italy. He is complaining of pain in his right elbow which he felt upon waking up in the morning. He called me up and asked for medication. I only prescribed an analgesic thinking that it was only ordinary muscle pain. He said that the pain subsided with the medication I gave but still he could not move his right arm that's why he came to our clinic.

We examined his blood uric acid levels and the result showed hyperuricemia (increased blood uric acid levels). I think it's not surprising because he looks overweight. Maybe upon arrival to the Philippines he ask some friends for a gathering around the table with some beer and pulutan. Being away also made him miss common food products in Pangasinan like tuyo, bagoong, alamang, sitaw, sardines, and all-time favorites like dinuguan. These foods are high in purines. Eating them form the waste product called uric acid which dissolves in the blood. If untreated this may lead to the condition called gout. It can also lead to deposition of this substance in soft tissues forming tophi or in the kidneys and urinary tract forming stones.It can also be caused by certain medications like antihypertensive medicines which my uncle is also taking.

We advised him about his condition. After taking some medications for his high uric acid levels and together with some lifestyle changes he can now move his right arm. I advised him on what he will do whenever he feels the same thing all over again.

Let us not forget that too much of everything is bad and that self-discipline counts a lot. A high blood uric acid level also contributes to increased risk of heart disease.
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 8:20 AM   0 comments
New Year Celebration
Friday, January 05, 2007
This post maybe a little bit late...but it's better late than never. I just want to share how we spent our New Year's Eve...

For the past years, my husband used to buy firecrakers and we greet the New Year lighting them. We do this in front of our house so that our neighbors can join us in the celebration. At the same time we also watch different forms of fireworks coming from different places. Greeting the New Year with friends, relatives, neighbors, and even with strangers who just happen to pass by at the time was really filled with extreme happiness and enjoyment.

As the years past more and more people get killed from stray bullets during the New Year's Eve celebration. So that last year we just bought a few fireworks just so we can have something to lit to greet the New Year. As early as November 2006, some of our neighbors were already lighting firecrackers at around 5 pm up to around 9 pm. It annoyed us so much and the noise coming from all over is enough to convince us not to buy anymore. Considering also the prices nowadays, the noise it makes, the destruction it produce, and the danger that it gives.

We heard mass at 8pm. By the time we arrive home we started preparing for our New Year's Eve dinner. We settled for a small barbeque party in our backyard. At about 10:30pm dinner was ready. We had some pasta, garlic bread, barbeque of course, and pineapple punch as drinks. Me and my husband had red wine. After the dinner, it was pass 11pm and firecrackers sounded all over. We had our share of noise too by banging pails and cans and whatever that make noise. We went to the rooftop to watch lots and lots of fireworks. It was really a sight to watch firefly displays lighting the nightime sky. There were rings of sparkling fire of different colors - gold, purple, blue, and white. Again...Happy New Year!
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 10:08 AM   0 comments
About Me

Name: Amelyn R. Rafael,MD
Home: San Fabian, Pangasinan, Philippines
About Me: Family Physician, and Associate Professor (Clinical Anatomy and Medical Physiology)
See my complete profile
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