Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good Bye 2011, Hello 2012!


Time flies so fast, in a few hours 2011 is over...

My 2011 started rough but along the way it got really better. This year I started my medication, experienced some nasty side effects. Got employed after more than a year break, after 3 months got promoted, now I'm working on 2 or more jobs. I experienced heartbreak to falling in love again. I met some wonderful people on twitter. Overall it was good. Life is full of surprises, you'll never know what tomorrow brings. Enjoy life.

This 2012 I promise to live more, breathe more and love more. I also promise to be a good brother and good son to my parents. I will drink my meds on time, as in sakto sa oras! no more delays. I will follow my doctor na, hindi na ako magiging pasaway. hehehe... Will also work hard, I will avoid being late, sana naman kasi ndi na traffic. :) In a few months I will be spending my 2nd anniversary as poz kasabay ang Cd4 at Viral Load, excited na ako. At syempre excited na din ako sa pagbabalik ni partner. I Love You and always will. I Miss You so much! Happy New Year my baby. I could not ask for more.

I just want to thank all the people who listened to my story, laughed with me, tweet with me and fought with me in this battle.

Good Bye 2011, Hello 2012! Thank you!

Happy New Year Guys! Cheers to life! This Heart is Still Beating!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I Love Myself


Last Sunday I went to the love yourself photo-shoot. I already had 2 photo-shoot in past month, one for yoga for life and another for the project headshot clinic. Feeling model! LOL! The love yourself group was very accommodating, they were very friendly. I met ako_si_bong during the photo-shoot, he was nice. After registering I immediately change shirt and proceed to make up, while waiting someone talk to me, I don't even know who he was but he is very madaldal and very friendly, the conversation started when he asked me if I am single or committed. I am already taken. :) He asked about my previous relationship, I shared some info, feeling close lng ako. He also went to the yoga for life Christmas party but unfortunately I wasn't there because I was sick. Then it was my turn to have my photo taken, I was nervous. Ndi naman tlga ako sanay magpapicture! lol! after I'm done the conversation went on and I still don't know who he was, until someone introduced him, to my surprise the person I am talking to is the author of Manily Gay Guy! MGG was very nice, the love yourself group were all very nice. He gave me his calling card. Then next day I added MGG on facebook and the following day he followed me on my twitter poz account. He already knew who I was. I don't know how but it's okay. hehehe... I have no problem in disclosing but I still choose to whom will I tell my status, I still need to protect my family and my partner. Overall it was a very nice experience. If my schedule permits I would definitely volunteer myself to the group. I hope I got a good picture. Till next time! :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I Love You! I Miss You!


You saw my profile at planet romeo, you asked me a lot of questions, I tried my best to answer it. Then you asked if we could meet I was very hesitant but somehow you made me say yes. I love you! I miss you! I can still remember the first time we met, I was a bit uncomfortable meeting you, you were HIV negative I am HIV positive but you didn't judge me at all, you act as if I was normal. I love you! I miss you! We talked and talked until I became comfortable with you, and its time for me to go home but the communication didn't stop there. I love you! I miss you! We would text and chat all day, I called you "kuya" you were like an older brother, I was very happy I've met a person like you full of positive vibes, full of laughter. I love you! I miss you! We hang out almost everyday, going to the mall, watching movies, eating, we became really close, you helped me with my problems, right then you became one of my strengths. You always tell me stories of the places you've been to, hearing it from you seems like I was there with you. I love you! I miss you! You were very religious, you asked me to come to church you and it became our Sunday habit. It was nice seeing another side of you, even though you act like a 10 year old kid most of the time I was glad I saw a more serious side of you. I love you! I miss you! The more I get to know you the more Ive fallen for you, but being HIV positive made me realized that we will never be more than just friends, but I never lost hope. As the weeks go by the more we got closer, after watching a movie we head back to your place, had a few drinks you kissed me, I kissed you back and things between us will never be the same again. I love you! I miss you! We slept together that night, because of my meds I had to sleep ahead of you. I slept with my head on your chest, with your arms wrapped around me and vice versa, as I fall asleep I can feel you kissing me, I smiled! I never felt so secured in my entire life. I love you! I miss you! I knew you would be going away soon, but we made our time together worth while. I lived in your house for quite some time, we were together almost every time except when I'm at work, you always prepare my lunch, you always cook my favorite food. You will fetch me to work and together we will go home. I feel so lucky to have you as my partner, no one has ever done that to me. I love you! I miss you! I brought you home, introduced you to my family, we were 2 decades apart, you were almost the same age as my parents, you handles yourself well I was very proud of you, I really don't care what they say. I love you! I miss you! You saw another side of me, I was immature, I was spoiled, I had my tantrum moments, but you stayed with me all through out. I love you! I miss you! Then the day of your departure came, I was very sad, I cried seeing you packed your things, I accompanied you to the airport, on our way you were holding my hand. I tried to be brave I cannot cry, but I can't help it, I composed myself and try to act normal. You always tell me that you love me and you will come back for me, I will hold on to your promise. We arrived at the airport, we said goodbye and hug each other, I wish I could have kissed you, but I can't. I didn't stayed long. I immediately took a cab, and went home, we still exchange text messages to say how much we love and we will miss each other. I love you! I miss you! Then you called, you told me it was time for you to board on the plane. I cried again! I said the things I wanted to tell you and it was good bye for now. I felt incomplete! I would just stare blankly into the sky hoping that I would see your plane. I love you! I miss you! You'll be gone for 10months, I know 10months isn't that long but I miss you already! I will wait for you. I will hold on to your promise that you will come back to me. I love you! I miss you!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Another Year



I celebrated my birthday this month, a simple celebration with a few close friends, my family and few relatives. I was very happy. Early morning of my birthday my mom came to my room to greet me, to my surprise it wasn't only a verbal greeting she hugged me and she told me that she loves me very much, blaming efavirenz I was a bit groggy so I didn't had a chance to react properly I said thank you and slept again. It was such a nice feeling, finally my mom is beginning to accept me, accept me with this virus. My life has never been this great, health-wise, career-wise, love-wise. Even though there were a few problems that comes my way I am still happy and thankful, I don't need a lot of people around me, all I need are my friends, my family and "J". By the way "J" is another story, I will post an entry of his own. So far so great! I am very thankful with what GOD has given me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Positivism | In Sickness and in Health

Love has no boundaries, love conquers all even your HIV status. Here's an inspiring video.

 
Every girl has an ideal man, a fantasy love story and a dream wedding.

Just like Reese - a simple girl from Cebu who found herself nearly having all three... And then came HIV.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Living Positively + Living Well Campaign


LIVING POSITIVELY + LIVING WELL
A movement to use love and happiness against HIV.

Begin your own advocacy to live with a positive outlook, and share that positivism to the world. Add your voice to the growing number of advocates rallying for positivism and against HIV.

To be a part of the Living Positively + Living Well Open Photoshoot:
  1. Share your stories, thoughts, or philosophies on how you live positively;
  2. Join our two-part open photoshoot; and
  3. Be featured in our photo exhibition.

When: October 22 and 29 (10AM-6PM)

Where: Pioneer Studios, 123 Pioneer Street, Mandaluyong City
For the location map and directions to the venue, visit www.pioneerstudios.ph. The parking space in front of Pioneer Studios is limited and a tow-away zone.  Pay parking is available at Pioneer Citiland Parking near the studio at the corner of Pioneer Street and Reliance Street (see location map).  Rates are PhP30.00 for first 3 hours and PhP10.00 succeeding hours.

Registration Fee: PhP1,000.00

Proceeds to the event will be used for further skills training of YFL members as we expand our program to reach more people affected by HIV.

Specially-trained peer counselors from The Love Yourself Project (TLYP) will offer free counseling during the event.


How to Participate:
  1. Pre-register to confirm your participation (see registration form below)
    1. Answer the question “How do you live positively?”
    2. Select a schedule for your photoshoot. Make sure to indicate the following details:
      1. Shirt size;
      2. Preferred date; and
      3. Preferred time.
  2. Come to the scheduled photoshoot date and time
    1. Get professionally-shot portraits by photographer Noel Abelardo; and
    2. A special Yoga for Life “Living Positively + Living Well” t-shirt.
  3. Watch out for the Photo Exhibition in December 2011


FAQs

What should I wear?
You will be provided a Yoga for Life t-shirt to wear during the photoshoot. Please wear bottoms that will allow you to comfortably sit in a cross-legged position on the floor, e.g. pants.

Will the basic grooming or make-up service include hair styling?
We will have make-up artists on site to do basic touch-ups and grooming. We prefer the participants to look naturally beautiful; there is no need to look extremely glamorous.

Why do I have to pre-register and pay a 50% downpayment?
We don’t want you to wait long to have your photo taken. So by pre-registering and making a downpayment, we can reserve a timeslot that is most convenient for you.  We will also be able to reserve a t-shirt that best fits your size.  This process will allow us to work more efficiently and give you the attention and service you deserve.  You can pay the 50% balance at the venue.  We can issue official receipts upon request.

Can I still go if I did not pre-register or pay the 50% downpayment?
Yes, but you may have to wait for the next available timeslot.  Pre-registered individuals will be given priority.  Best to give us a call before you come so we can advice you.  Call Charmaine at 09175404247.  You can pay the P1,000 donation at the venue.

Can I bring a friend who wants to go for the same photoshoot but had not pre-registered on the website?
Yes, but same rule applies as in the previous question.

How long will the photoshoot take?
Allot 1.5 to 2 hours for the whole process, which will include registration, 10-minute peer education, make-up/grooming, and actual photoshoot.

Is the HIV peer education required?
The 10-minute HIV peer education session is optional, but highly recommended.  You will be in the good hands of certified peer educators from The Love Yourself Project, our partner for the campaign.  It will be a productive way to fill in the waiting time.


REGISTRATION INSTRUCTIONS

By filling out the registration form, I am committing to participate in this photoshoot in support of Yoga for Life’s Living Positively + Living Well Campaign.  I understand that the donation of P1,000.00 will be collected from every participant to pay for a package that includes: (1) a Yoga for Life t-shirt, (2) basic grooming or make-up services, (3) a free HIV peer education session, and (4) two post-processed digital photos - 1 headshot layout and 1 lotus yoga pose layout.

Please make a 50% downpayment or full payment to reserve a timeslot.  Fill in and submit  the registration form on or before 21 October 2011. We will contact you through email or mobile phone to confirm your reserved timeslot.

Payment Instructions

You have three options for paying:
  1. Make a 50% downpayment of PhP500.00 by depositing it to our bank account and pay the 50% balance during the actual photoshoot;
  2. Make a full payment of PhP1,000.00 by depositing it to our bank account; or
  3. Paying either amount directly to Charmaine Cu-Unjieng or Paulo Leonido (co-founders) during a regular yoga class on or before 19 October 2011.  Official receipts will be given. Please settle any balance during the actual photoshoot. Schedule of classes can be found at www.yogaforlife.ph

For bank deposits, our bank details are as follows:

Bank name: China Banking Corp. (Chinabank Greenhills Branch)
Account name: Yoga for Life Foundation, Inc.
Account number: 105-375041-6

* Please show your bank deposit slip or Yoga for Life official receipt when you register during the actual photoshoot.

Friday, September 9, 2011

My 3rd CD4


I had my CD4 extracted last august 16 at PGH, yeah at PGH! Finally we won't have to go to RITM or SACCL for the extraction. It's my 3rd time to have my CD4 extracted I was a bit nervous because the last time I lost 146 count, very heartbreaking. Since then I started my ARV not a very nice beginning but it got better, my body became at ease with my meds. My schedule was very hectic but I manage to squeeze in the scheduled extraction. I work 6x a week. Sunday was my only day off and they don't have any schedule but on weekdays. The extraction was still the same process as the others, but the only thing I noticed is that ate Cellene's tummy got bigger, shes pregnant, its been a while since I visited PGH, I was busy with work so I asked someone to get my meds and my last check up was May.

I ask my doctor if I can get my results early in the morning, and she agreed. I waited 3weeks for the result... September 6, I had my check up around 6:30 in the morning. I love my doctor she's very accommodating and nice, I can always count on her. I was very excited... I went to PGH with someone. The usual I waited on the bench then Dr. Rose arrived, we went to sagip unit, the usual check up had a few chat and then she showed my result. My CD4 only increased by 33 points, she knew I wasn't that happy, I mean it was okay, only okay, but she said that Viral Load is more important than CD4 so I had hope the only problem was there is no VL in PGH I have to do it in RITM and its worth 6,000 pesos! 6,000 PESOS!!! Sad to say it's not covered by Phil Health. I think I'll take it on December, hopefully my ARV are really working.

My CD4 as of August 2011 is 334.


Monday, August 29, 2011

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Begin HIV Treatment

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Begin HIV Treatment

  
1. Why do I want to start treatment? 

This extremely important question is not to be confused with, "Why does my doctor say I should start treatment?" It's a way of asking yourself what you want to get out of treatment, and it gets straight at whether you believe that antiretrovirals are necessary to manage your HIV infection.

Starting and staying on HIV treatment is a supreme act of self-respect. This question can unmask any lurking reluctance you may have to take care of yourself. It helps clarify what your main motivation will be to take your HIV medications day after day.
  
 2. Am I ready?

The list of reasons for starting treatment earlier than later only gets longer as the supporting data keeps rolling in. But that doesn't mean it's obvious when you should start. The biggest variable in sustained treatment success is you: the person who will have to take meds the right way, every day, indefinitely.

Today's first-line treatment regimens are quite good, but they still require excellent adherence (not missing doses) to avoid the development of drug resistance. The number of possible antiretroviral combinations is finite, and they don't really get easier or better. In fact, the regimen you start with may well be the easiest, most potent regimen available to you -- the kind of thing it would be a shame to lose by taking it when you're not ready.
  
3. Which regimen will still let me live my life?

The greatest combination of medications the world has to offer isn't worth much unless it makes it down your gullet as prescribed, every day. It can be hard enough to start taking daily medications, let alone have to make radical changes to your daily routine for them.

Before you say yes to a twice-daily regimen that requires food, even though you chronically skip breakfast and eat dinner whenever you can grab it, talk to your doctor about other options -- or at least be realistic about whether you can commit to changing your routine. The point of going on treatment is, after all, to stay healthy so you can get on with life without HIV bothering you.

Choosing a regimen that becomes the focus of your life is the wrong direction. It probably isn't realistic and it surely isn't necessary. Be honest about what you are willing (and not willing) to do, choose a regimen that lines up with that, and then take your meds as close to perfectly as you can.

4. Have I surrendered to the truth that I have HIV/AIDS?
Denial and shame aren't good for your health, and they can really interfere with your ability to commit to treatment. Some people start treatment because they're "supposed to" or because their doctors think they should, not because they choose to do it as an act of self-preservation. They do it grudgingly, like a chore you do because someone asked you nicely to do but you really can't wait to finish -- and, honestly, you never got why it was important to do, anyway.

Let's face it: Going on treatment means acknowledging, every day, "I have HIV/AIDS." What happens on the days you don't much want to acknowledge that -- to yourself or to others around you? A treatment regimen is dangerous place to play out resentments.

5. Who will I tell about my regimen?

Never underestimate the power of support: Hearing a friendly "Have you taken your meds today?" can go a long way toward keeping you on the right path. Sure, it might get old, but it's nice to have someone else paying attention, especially on those days you might not be.

It also can be surprisingly nice to have someone to talk to about your medications. Plus, you'll likely be glad to have an extra pair of eyes and ears in treatment discussions with your doctor -- or even just noticing how you're doing.
  

6. Why this regimen?

When it comes to choosing your first regimen, you have a choice: You can either let your doctor choose your regimen for you, or you can be involved in the decision. As the person who has to go home and take the medications day in and day out, the second option is preferable.

Given that there are a number of very good regimens available to people who are new to HIV treatment, it makes good sense to ask your doctor: "Why this combination, and not that one?" or "What do you see as my best two options, which one do you prefer and why?" Also, if you have any specific concerns at all, like "I want to get pregnant" or "I do not want any disruption of my sleep," bring them to the table and plop them down for your doctor to consider.

7. What side effects am I willing to tolerate?

Many times, people don't even get tested for HIV until later in the disease process, when they already feel terrible (which is likely why they got tested). These people may have an easier time starting treatment because they know they will feel better once they get the virus under control.

If you have no symptoms of HIV infection, though, it's easy to fear that you'll feel worse on treatment. Thanks to newer, less-toxic medications, chances are better than ever that you'll feel just fine. But it's important to be clear about what side effects you are willing to tolerate, particularly during those first few weeks that your body is adjusting to treatment (when side effects are most likely). If your answer is "nothing," then you might not be ready to do this.

8. How can I expect to feel on this regimen?

Don't be surprised if your clinician only seems to talk about the likeliest medication side effects instead of the full range of possible ones. Maybe she or he fears that you are impressionable and talking about them will scare you off, or will make you think you have them when you actually don't.

But knowing whether a symptom you get might be drug-related is a big deal. That way, you'll know right away whether you should give your clinic a call and see what your clinician thinks about it.

So ask your doctor to give you the gamut of side effects -- but pay attention to what percentage of people get each one so you know how likely it might be for you. Remember: Even if the percentage is as high as 20 percent, that means 80 percent don't get it.

9. What if it doesn't work?

As good as today's HIV medications are, it's possible that, for one reason or another, your first regimen might not work for you. Maybe you'll find you are missing doses regularly. Or maybe your lab tests will show that your viral load isn't dropping as much as it should. Or maybe some side effect will emerge that makes you want to just say no to treatment.

When you're researching your first regimen and discussing it with your doctor, why not consider your second, just-in-case regimen, too? In fact, it's a good idea to always have a plan B in mind.

10. Can I stop?

This is a question that does not get enough attention. Doctors don't seem to relish talking about it -- HIV treatment is "lifelong therapy," after all, and studies have shown that people with HIV generally see their health slide when they stop taking meds.

However, occasions may arise that make a "treatment holiday" the realistic thing to do, so you might as well talk about it up front. This is especially important because some HIV drug regimens need to be stopped in a certain way, or in a certain order, to avoid the development of resistance.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

On the RIGHT Direction


The only constant thing in this world is change and I feel that I'm strong enough to face the upcoming changes in my life, good or bad, I am ready. In this world relationship of the same sex is really complicated, some couple had their stories of Fairy Tale and some don't, as for me it didn't, my LOVE STORY ENDED. As much I want to tell you the reasons why we broke up I'm just gonna keep my mouth shut and move on with my life. I am FINE, don't worry. Another change that happened lately is WORK, I am now employed, I've been waiting for this for a very long time. The work given to me was very challenging but I am in control, I will be handling several departments, this is new to me but I know I can do this, they are expecting a lot from me and I won't let them down. My daily routine wouldn't be the same as before but I am okay with that. I AM EXCITED! As far as my Health is concerned I am now on my 5th month of ARV I feel "NORMAL" not much of a big deal. I still prioritized my Health above all. Health is Wealth as they say it. Good things comes for people who wait but act on it. A lot of things has happened lately, the right mixture of good and bad but in general I am feeling GREAT! One by one things are falling into their rightful place, I know I am heading on the right track.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Magnetic Relationship


Its been a year and 7months and he is still NEGATIVE! I am so happy that even though we had practiced unsafe sex before, his results always came out non reactive. Every time he's going to take the test I can't help but be scared, I won't forgive myself if ever he came out positive. I hope he remains negative forever. This calls or a celebration! I really have to thank God for all his blessings to me, to us and my family, so far so good! I feel very blessed!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fly A Kite

Let me share you a song written and sung by Nar Carbico, this song is about HOPE, I always feel that there is more to life than HIV, HIV doesn't stop you from living and achieving you're dreams, it's not too late to dream, as long as your heart is still beating there's HOPE! Thank you Nar for this beautiful song!!! Namaste!

Fly A Kite is a song I wrote for my friends and loved ones who are living with HIV. This is my gift to them. And I dedicate this to everyone who are infected/affected by HIV in one way or another. They need our love and support. -Nar Cabico

 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Im a Working Boy

Been very busy lately I work 7x a week, that's business, no time for myself, lots of stress (good stress) but I made my mom very happy so im okay with it, the only problem is im still under paid... lol!!!. Finally I got hired (again) hopefully (crossing my fingers) this time I won't encounter any problems to my employment. My work starts in july so I have plenty of time to keep myself healthy, will get back to the gym in june, I keep on gaining weight I am now 65kg, 8-10kg more than my usual weight blame it on the ARV's I can't stop eating. hahahaha!!! I've been really doing great lately, never been sick this past months, I think the ARV is working, hopefully, my next CD4 extraction is on august so let's see what happens. I need to reward myself from all the hard work maybe a massage or something. :-)

THIS HEART IS STILL BEATING!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Yoga for Life: TOUCHING LIVES

On Sunday, 15 May 2011, the Yoga for Life community will come together to join the world in commemorating the 28th International AIDS Candlelight Memorial at the Glorietta 3 Park in Ayala Center, Makati. Entitled Yoga for Life: Touching Lives, it will be an afternoon that will gather yoga enthusiasts and HIV advocates alike in a candlelit sunset ceremony honoring the lives of people affected by HIV and AIDS.


The Yoga for Life community will take the traditional candle lighting ceremony further by making an impact in the way that it knows best - through yoga. Co-founders Charmaine Cu-Unjieng and Paulo Leonido will be joined by the country’s top yoga instructors in leading the community through yoga poses, breathing techniques and guided meditation, to demonstrate how the discipline and community of yoga help those affected by HIV. More importantly, the event aims to unite the community’s energies towards igniting the flames of HIV awareness in the general public.

The event will begin with registration at 3:30 pm, and will be supported by yoga instructors Roland dela Cruz, Jeannie Javelosa, Tesa Celdran, Marilen Elizalde, Marc Carlos, Lex Bonife and Rebecca de Villa, HIV advocates from different sectors and friends of the Yoga for Life community. Proceeds from the event will support the services that Yoga for Life provides to the HIV community, which include yoga classes, meditation sessions, and HIV and life-skills counseling.

This is the 28th year since the International Candlelight Memorial was first held, making it the longest running community event around HIV and AIDS. It will also be the first time that the Yoga for Life community is joining the tens of thousands of people from 75 different countries in touching the lives of those affected by HIV. While the Candlelight Memorial was originally held to commemorate the lives lost to HIV, Yoga for Life chooses to empower the lives of those who continue to triumph in spite of the virus, and celebrate the HIV advocate in everyone.

Yoga for Life began in June 2010, and is the Philippines’ first community-based yoga program for persons living with HIV, as well as others who support them and the cause and want to experience the beauty of yoga. To date, the community has grown to over 300, as Yoga for Life continues to reach more people and build a community of advocates who, through yoga, share their energies towards living positively and living well.

So come and join us as we touch lives through yoga!

Career path

It's been a while since I posted something here, I'm just busy with LIFE. My doctor changed my meds to lamivudine, tenofovir and efavirenz I'm on my 2nd month with this combination, SO FAR SO GOOD! I can tolerate sa dizziness caused by efavirenz. In my last post I lost my job due some issues I encountered when I'm starting my medications, funny because I haven't really started my work and I'm already fired. So now I am really having hard time setting my priorities at the moment. I've been job hunting for a few months now, still no luck! I always made it to the final interview but still not getting the position, I've tried applying for a entry level position but still no luck, maybe it wasn't really for me, I know I sucked at interviews, my nerves gets the best of me so I end up stuttering, I need to practice more and try again until I hit the jackpot. My dad keeps telling that I should help in our business instead, my family has two business and its quite stable as a matter of fact I will live without having to work but I am not satisfied with that kind of living, I need a self fulfillment I need to grow as a person. Having to work under my parent is very difficult for me we have different ways of running a business, they are more old school, they have a hard time adopting to change. I'm still indecisive of which career path am going to take, to work or to pursue business? I need a sign. LOL! I need to stable financially so I can prepare for the future.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

YOGA FOR LIFE

Yoga for Life is the first ever community-based yoga class series, specially designed for the needs of people living with HIV, but open as well to others who support them and want to experience the beauty of yoga.

For inquiries, you may contact: Charmaine: 0917 540-4247 | charmaine.cuunjieng@gmail.com Paulo: 0917 388-9658 | comradepaw@gmail.com yogaforlife.ph@gmail.com










Photos taken by Noel Abelardo
http://noelabelardo.multiply.com/photos/album/61/Yoga_For_Life

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Get It Right


What have I done
I wish I could run
Away from this ship going under
Just trying to help
Hurt everyone else
Now I feel the weight of the world is
On my shoulders

What can you do when your good isn't good enough
And all that you touch tumbles down
'Cuz my best intentions keep making a mess of things
I just want to fix it somehow
But how many times will it take
Oh how many times will it take for me
To get it right
To get it right

Can I start again
With my faith shaken
'Cuz I can't go back and undo this
I just have to stay
And face my mistakes
But if I get stronger and wiser
I'll get through this

What can you do when your good isn't good enough
And all that you touch tumbles down
'Cuz my best intentions keep making a mess of things
I just want to fix it somehow
But how many times will it take
But how many times will it take for me
To get it right

So I throw up my fist, throw a punch in the air
And accept the truth that sometimes life isn't fair
Yeah I sent out wish
Yeah I sent up a prayer
Then finally someone will see how much I care

What can you do when your good isn't good enough
And all that you touch tumbles down
Oh my best intentions keep making a mess of things
I just want to fix it somehow
But how many times will it take
Oh how many times will it take
To get it right
To get it right

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Warrior and A Child

Most of you think people living with HIV are strong, yes we are, it would really take a lot of strength to live every day for the rest of our lives. I think I am but sometimes I find a need to wore a mask, fake a smile, a laughter just to hide what I am feeling, It's not because I'm not being true to myself, I just need too! So that the people around me wouldn't worry too much, most especially my family, they have no idea what I am going through, I wish I could just tell them but I can't, not right now, I need to wait for the right moment. I never expected this journey to be easy but I know I am strong enough to handle it, my best friend's A and M didn't had any clue that I was going through something like this until I told them, they were shocked but they didn't let me see a tear fall from their eyes, they always act strong in front of me but I know they are worried, I wanted everything to be normal, I don't want people to treat me like a sick or a dying person, I don't want to have limitations, I don't want to limit my life, I just want it to live the way I want it although I know I can't live it carelessly, especially at this moment where my body is at a fragile state. I am very scared but I am confident that through this battle GOD and the people that loves me will be always by my side, they are my armor they prevent me from getting wounded. I maybe a warrior but I am also just a child...

I fall... I cry... I get defeated... my enemy has already got me on my knees but I will always have the courage to stand up and fight!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Depression and Discomfort

The moment my doctor asked me if I am ready for medication, I said YES, thinking I am ready for it. The arv's comes with a packeage of side effects, I am experiencing some: head ache, nausea, vomitting, muscle pains and fever, i am feeling really uncomfortable. I am emotionally prepared for this but realizing physically I am not, I have low pain tolerance, I am not used in experiencing this kind of physical pain. VERY DISCOMFORTING. Since I am experiencing this side effects I asked the HR is I can delay my work for a few days to help me body adjust more to the medicines, I had to lie and I told them I have flu, after a few hour they responed, they are postponing my employment because they don't think I'm "FIT TO WORK", I felt sad, VERY DEPRESSING! I don't think they will still hire me, I don't want to lose hope but I am really feeling low. Iv'e been back and forth to pgh to have my check up, also I had to do series of lab test, the results were all normal so my doctor know the caused of my fever. She asked me if I difficulty in swallowing I replied yes, she asked me to open my mouth, she looked into it, she asked another doctors opinion: "IT'S HERPES"....... WHAT THE FUCK?? HERPES!!! I don't think herpes has a cure. I just want to disappear from that moment. So I was given another set of meds, antiviral meds. now I am depressed and I feel a little bit of discomfort. I am so close to being broke! I feel so sad that not even sex and porn can make me happy. I hope things will be better soon, I am not used to this. I really need a tight HUG! :-(

Saturday, March 5, 2011

LOVE, WORK and other DRUGS

First of all, me and my ex boyfriend got back together, I don't know how but it just happened. We've been living under the same roof even though we broke up, we realized that what we really need is space, a time to heal the wounds of the past. I can't explain what I am feeling but I am very much happy with my life. I can say I am stronger!  My bf and I are very happy, they say love is sweeter the 2nd time around, I totally agree! He is very supportive, he takes care of me, I feel very pampered, spoiled, like a princess. lol! I'm just hoping for the best on our relationship.


**********

I am now employed!  FINALLY! I will earn my own money, after 9months of being unemployed (I did helped in the family business but I don't consider it as employment) After several months of job hunting I finally found the job that I want, It's been a long employment process for me, after about 6-7 interviews and 3 weeks of waiting I am now hired! Now I get to do the things that I love once again, I love my technical field. I am very excited! I promised myself to save money for my future. Wish me luck!


**********

Recently my cd4 dropped from 443 down to 297 but looking on the bright side starting my medication will help me gain back the numbers I've lost. How? with the help of Antiretroviral drug or ARV's. Once you had started your medication, you will have to take it for the rest of your lives and these drugs comes with a package. SIDE EFFECTS! I'm starting my job and arv at the same time, I hope my medication won't get in the way of my work. So in the past few weeks I've been really thinking about it and I think I'm ready... SO GUYS! Meet my new best friends: LAMIVUDINE, ZIDOVUDINE and NEVIRAPINE together with my old best friends: SELENIUM with VIT. E and VIT. C


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fragile



Feb. 1, 2011, I had my 2nd CD4 extraction at san lazaro hospital. I've been waiting for my results for more than 3weeks, I am very anxious. Monday I got a text from nurse cellene asking me if I have a philhealth already, I said yes, and asked her if my results is already there, I already knew that I was going to be on meds, but I remained hopeful, the following day she texted me that my results is already there, I immediately texted my doctor to follow up, wednesday I went to PGH together with my bestfriend, I a little bit nervous of what how my results will turned out, we arrived around 1:30pm, there were many people as expected, I saw some old faces, few I know from yoga for life. The usual thing, you first knock on the door of SAGIP and ask for your doctor, then you wait outside...

We waited for 3hours...

and my doctor called me... We entered the room, after a few "hello's and hi's" and then my results...


My CD4 as of August 3, 2010 is 443

and my current CD4 as of February 1, 2011 is...


...


297

My CD4 dropped 146, I was a bit shock but wasn't surprise, I am accepting it wholeheartedly. I've been under a lot of stress lately and I didn't took care of myself properly so I have no one to blame but myself. My body is now fragile, it may break anytime, it needs to be under repair. I realized that my body is having a hard time fighting anymore, I have cough or colds that last for a week or two, diarrhea for a week, having dermatitis on my face, vomiting from time to time. Everything becomes different now, I promised myself to be more careful this time, I have to take care of my body well, I am advised my doctor to start my medication, after fixing my philhealth and finishing some lab test I'm now ready to start, this is another chapter of my HIV journey... I need to get those numbers up again! I know GOD is with me in this journey. 

Let's see what happens next. =)



Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pebrero Trese

February 13, 2010 the day that changed my life forever. I can still remember how it all begun...

It was the thirteenth of February, the day before Valentine's Day. It was a Saturday, after having my rapid test last December 2009 (which came out non-reactive) I decided to have my follow up test so my (ex)partner (who is my partner that time), and I together with another bisexual friend V went to PGH to have our HIV test. V has a family, a wife and a son, he is very scared thinking he has HIV due to his past sexual encounters. We arrived at PGH around 1pm, Dr. L who has a study about HIV was the one who conducted the test. I was just normal, I wasn't scared, I was just thinking it's gonna be negative so let's get this over with. I volunteered first, my (ex)partner, then my friend V same procedures after a few questions from Dr. L we had our blood samples tested. After another questioning as a group, he asked us to go outside and one by one he will disclose the results as usual I went in first, I sat in front of him he handed me the rapid test kit and asked "what do you think is the result?" I replied "I don't know" and immediately he said "it's positive" right then and there I died, I was shaking, "para akong binuhusan ng malamig na tubig" and I asked my (ex)partner's results "what about *****?, what about *****?" thank God he's negative, he was trying to calm me down but I was really shaking not crying just shaking while embracing myself, he was telling me things but I can't really understand it, my mind was completely blanked, i could have screamed but my friend was outside and I don't want him to know, and my (ex)partner as well so I calmed myself and went outside, my (ex)partner was next on his way in I got the chance to hold his hand and I squeezed it real tight. Outside V was trying to talk to me, I tried my best to remain calm acting like everything was fine and I was non-reactive. After all of us were done, we decided to get something to eat, I was just quiet, my (ex)partner was thinking I was acting weird I just smiled at him back, we entered a fast food chain I just sat down and ask him to order something for me, I really couldn't eat, I was not myself, I wanted to scream and cry but I can't, while eating I received a text message from my (ex)partner asking if I am alright, I replied with the news "I am reactive" looking at his face while reading my text, he was shocked, his smile turned into a frown, both of us didn't finished our meal, we still tried to act normal in front of our friend. After eating we said goodbye to our friend, both not ourselves we sat down in the sidewalk both staring at a blank space. I told him I will go back to Dr. L to have my blood extracted for the confirmation test, we hurried back but Dr.L was in a meeting and can't accommodate in that moment so we agreed to come back later in the afternoon. My (ex)partner asked me to come with him in his house, the moment we got into his room I cried, I broke down, I was dying... he was crying also, but he remained strong for me, telling me that there is still a chance for me to be non-reactive. He was tracing back were I get it from, but I was just crying... our relationship just turned 2months that time, he just hugged me the whole time trying to be positive about it, looking at a brighter side but I was still covered in darkness, I did question God why, but I never blamed him for what happened. Then we head back to PGH to had my blood extracted.

My confirmation test still came out REACTIVE... and so my life begins... at the age of 21 I am HIV positive, and my (ex)partner remained non-reactive. :)

That moment changed my life, its very funny because I wasn't even that promiscuous during those time, I had less than 10 sex encounters, this just means that one unsafe encounter and you can be at risk of having HIV.

Writing this post made me realized that I had already moved on, I had accepted my fate, I am still the same person just stronger. I am still here... ALIVE! My heart is still beating...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

How to Move On After a Break Up



Break-ups can be difficult and painful, but the important thing to remember is that a break up is not the end of the world. Sometimes a break-up can even be a good thing because it will give you a chance to re-evaluate your life, and maybe even lead you to find someone more suitable. The truth is, that you can move on after a break-up no matter how bad it may have been.

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Instructions

  1. Give yourself plenty of time to heal and recuperate. Remember that time heals all wounds. Put away pictures, gifts or any mementos that remind you of your ex. It is natural to experience feelings of denial, but do your best to resist the urge to call your ex and ask to get back together. Immediately after a break-up, you are at your most vulnerable state, so be careful not to get into a rebound relationship
    that may prove to be a mistake. Avoid some of the pitfalls, such as drowning your sorrows in alcohol, and instead channel all of your energy into positive activities that make you feel good about yourself.
  2. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones. Talk about how you're feeling and allow them to comfort you and offer you advice. A break-up can be a very lonely experience, so surrounding yourself with others you love and trust will help to erase some of the loneliness. Don't try to deal with the experience all by yourself. Go out and meet new people, rebuild old relationships, network and immerse yourself into social situations. Keep yourself busy doing things you enjoy with the people you love, and don't dwell on the past.
  3. Go out and have fun. Don't stay home and sulk, as it will only make you feel more miserable. Round up a group of friends and hit the town. Do something fun and exciting, such as a night of dancing or bar hopping. Plan a weekend beach or camping trip or take a quick out-of-town getaway. Going out with friends will remind you that being single can be just as fun as being in a relationship. It will also help to keep your mind off your ex.
  4. Take some time off for yourself and get away from the world for a while. Use this time to reflect on your life and expectations for the future. Enjoy your time alone with relaxing activities such as reading, taking long baths, watching your favorite movies or engaging in a favorite hobby or pastime. Basically, take this time to do whatever makes you feel the most relaxed and calm. Clear your mind of all negative feelings to help you slowly let go of any lingering bitterness.
  5. Start dating again. After you have given yourself adequate time to get over your last relationship, consider getting back into the dating game. Allow yourself to fall in love again and enjoy the start of a new relationship. Be careful to not rush things and take the time to really let your partner into your life. Take care not to be consumed in this new union, or any other relationship, for that matter--you never know when another break-up may happen.

Tips & Warnings

  • Whatever you do, don't let a break-up get you down. Remember that everyone experiences break-ups regardless of age, race, class or social status. Even celebrities go through bad break-ups, so don't let the end of a relationship destroy your self-esteem.
  • If you don't feel like you are recovering from your breakup after a significant amount of time, seek professional help. You may be suffering from clinical depression.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Nobody's BITCH!

Since I became single I begun my promiscuous adventure, I only had a few encounter's when I became HIV positive, and I know I want more, I am young and I want to explore more. I know I have HIV but this doesn't stop me from having sex, I am still human, I have my needs. I am strict when it comes to having sex I have a NO CONDOM NO SEX policy. I created a account in some gay networking site, I must admit I became easily marketable, I used a decent profile pic, but then I changed it into something more sexy but not in a cheap way, more people viewing my profile the more messages i am receiving. My best friend always ask me "Why is it so easy for the gay community to get sex?" I answered I don't know. maybe because it's December and its cold, it seems people are longing for some hot action, "naghahanap sila ng magpapainit sa pasko nila at ako un!", a few text from here to there, I was shy at first, a bit afraid but i got the hang of it, it started with a a few date/s (wholesome date/s) coffee, movie and dinner, followed by a one on one action, then there's 3some's, and a 4some but it didn't stop there, orgy? no, not yet, I had sex day after day, there were times I get them twice a day, or maybe thrice? every time with a different person. hahahaha... I have been to different place within the area, I didn't know that promiscuity would teach me to explore the different parts of my area. I know I made myself TOO AVAILABLE, but I choose my partner's very well. I have standards. I maybe easy but I am not cheap! lol! In terms of sex,  I like it intense and rough! Really rough! I am not the vanilla type! I am a slave... but I am fragile! I had done it in public areas as well, in the bus, park, movie house, mall comfort room, fitting room and etc... I always make sure that my partner/s will have a great time, some say's I'm good, some say's I'm great, some want's to own me and be their exclusive partner in bed. Sorry guys but I'm nobody's bitch! Most of the time I didn't even know the names of my sex partner/s, after hooking up I don't usually talk to them anymore unless the sex is great and will be scheduling a second meet up, there will always be an exception. I had met people with different personalities, body built, and size, again not all tall guys have bigger dicks. hehehe...

This post may be disturbing to some people, but always remember that I am still human and I have needs, I always do it protected, every now and then I still checked their dicks if their condom is still on. Regardless of your status you should always do it protected. HIV is real and it is now here in the Philippines, the numbers are still going up so practice safe sex guys. :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

YFL on The Philippine Star

Yoga for life, and living for yoga
Source: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=645944&publicationSubCategoryId=451
Article by: BENT ANTENNA By Audrey N. Carpio (The Philippine Star) Updated January 07, 2011


On the first day back from the holidays, my yoga class was expectedly full with new people and their steely resolve to get on the fitness track. As we stretched out our creaky bones, saturated with Christmas fat, and sweated out the hangovers, I once again thought about what it was about yoga that has made me keep coming back to it throughout the years. I was always a nerd, unathletic and gawky, and in high school I would skip PE classes by managing to always have my period. The competitiveness of team sports didn’t appeal to me, and running like a hamster in the gym was boring and tedious. Discovering yoga was somewhat of a breakthrough in my physical routine, mainly because it wasn’t all about the physical. There was a mind-body connection that appealed to my intellectual and spiritual side while also creating a stronger, more toned body. After the last minutes of savasana I would always feel centered and peaceful, free of toxins both physical and emotional. So I wasn’t surprised when I came across yoga for people living with HIV. As a practice with proven physiological and psychological benefits for almost any type of body, it makes perfect sense.

Yoga For Life, a community-based yoga series created by Charmaine Cu-Unjieng, a Yale-educated HIV specialist, and Paulo Leonido, a fitness expert and personal trainer, came together when the two met during yoga teacher training under Roland dela Cruz of Bliss Yoga. Call it dharma. “We were together six days a week for two months. We’re both passionate about HIV. We even have the same birthday,” Charmaine says. “I always wanted to merge the work I had been doing with yoga, and meeting Paolo catalyzed it.”

With her contacts at Echo Yoga, a group that offers alternative classes to niche groups like overweight and older people, and his contacts at Philippine General Hospital and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Charmaine and Paulo developed an Iyengar-based yoga program designed for the needs of people living with HIV and AIDS. Worldwide, yoga is being recognized as an important complementary therapy for immunosuppressed patients. “I have friends living with HIV. I had always wondered, what happens next?” Paulo says. “So we came up with Yoga for Life, which is a non-strenuous, holistic approach to wellness.”

The first couple of months of classes were not so easy, as newcomers had many fears to overcome and needed to grow more comfortable about opening up and talking about HIV. “We didn’t know at first whether to focus on people with HIV, or make it an advocacy against stigma and discrimination, open to everyone. We were also concerned about confidentiality,” says Charmaine. But it has become a safe space: there is no requirement to disclose one’s status, and the classes are indeed open to people with HIV and those who support people with HIV. Ninety percent of the students are gay men, and half of them are estimated to be HIV positive.

In Ayurvedic philosophy, specific poses like inversions are beneficial to the immune system, while backbends stimulate thymus activity and forward bends detoxify the liver. B.K.S. Iyengar, the founder of Iyengar Yoga, outlined a sequence of poses that encourage proper blood circulation and activate glands that are known to regulate the production of T-cells, the body’s army against infections. For people living with HIV, yoga alleviates stress and depression. For those on ARV drugs, yoga helps detoxify their system. After an hour and 15 minutes of asana practice, the students are guided through meditation and breathing techniques, and it is in these moments that yoga becomes its most medicinal. “Our approach is to bring back the inner peace, self love, self empowerment and happiness. You don’t have to be reminded about your sickness,” Charmaine explains.

Feedback and results from students have been encouraging. One student, with a dangerously low CD4 count of 7 (HIV-negative people normally would have 700-1,000 T-cells) was getting sick with opportunistic infections. The doctor advised him to stop exercising. Charmaine and Paulo put him in relaxing poses. He stopped getting fever every day, and started gaining weight and getting stronger. His new CD4 count is unknown, but one can surmise that his stabilized health reflects a higher number of T-cells. Paulo shares that other students are starting to practice on their own, even employing breathing techniques inside taxis when they need to calm down.

With Paulo as a great motivator for the students, keeping in touch with inspirational texts, Yoga for Life has become more than just a place for a judgment-free work out. “Yoga for Life has proven itself to be a real community,” blogged one practitioner who had been living with HIV for three years. “Being with the Yoga for Life community turned out to be the best way to celebrate World AIDS Day. Yes, I dare to use the word ‘celebrate.’ Because gone are the days of World AIDS Day being a commemoration of the lives that had been lost to AIDS. Rather, we should be celebrating. Celebrating life going on in spite of the virus.”
For the new year, Paulo and Charmaine are hoping to scale up their program, introduce fun safer-sex campaigns to spread the message of positive prevention, and find more yoga teachers. As they run it on a volunteer basis and only ask for a suggested donation of P200 per class, the sustainability of Yoga for Life still looms as an issue. But with the energy they give out in service to others, the universe is sure to respond in manifold.

* * *
Yoga for Life is held on Wednesdays, 7 p.m. at 28th Floor Conference Room, Medical Plaza Ortigas Building, San Miguel Avenue, Ortigas, Pasig City, and on Saturdays, 2 p.m. at Echo Yoga Community Center, 9th Floor Penthouse, Century Plaza Building, Perea Street, Legazpi Village, Makati.

***
YFL invites you to share our Yoga for Life practice in any way, e.g. join a class, teach a class (for yoga teachers), donate (cash, yoga mat or other yoga props), host a class, re-post this article, or other creative ways you would like to contribute. Happy 2011! Namaste =)

For inquiries, you may contact:
Charmaine: 0917 540-4247 | charmaine.cuunjieng@gmail.com
Paulo: 0917 388-9658 | comradepaw@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Holiday

It's my first time to spend Christmas and New Year as a poz, well nothing has changed, I celebrated my holiday the same as the previous years, bonding with my family, reunion with friends, visiting my relatives, the only thing that makes it special is I cherished every moment of it, especially when im with my family, I missed my family, I've been living alone for quite some time now, its not that far from my parents house but I don't get to see them that often, my parents are busy as usual, they work hard for us to have a comfortable life, try to give us good education and provides us with what we need, my brother's are all grown up (i have 3), what are their vices? are they having girlfriends already? engaging into sex? i can't really tell what's going on with their life anymore, and my sister she has matured, my sister is a teen mom, she got pregnant two year's ago (she was 17yrs.old), our family has gone through a lot of pain but we fought through it, my niece will be turning two on April, she's our little princess, we will do everything for her, she's spoiled, she never fails to make us smile every time she speaks, sings, dance or do all her stuff, thanks to her she's been keeping us bonded, we set aside our differences when it comes to her, we only want the best for her, we love her very much especially me, we have dreams for her, I want her to be enrolled in a good school, I enroll her in ballet classes, gymnastic classes, piano lessons,  everything she wants to do. I know I can't have kids anymore so I'm treating her as one of my own, so GOD please give me 18 years more, just let me be with her on her 18th birthday. 

After new year we decided to watch a movie, we watched "tanging ina" what got my attention is how ai ai delas alas struggles to tell her family about her condition, within the family only my mom knows that I am HIV positive, its been 11months since I got diagnosed. My dad and sibling doesn't have a clue, I was planning to tell them this christmas but something hold me back, it's not yet time for me to open up. I am afraid of how will they take it, i am really scared. I need to plan it very carefully, I have to be ready for anything that may happened. When? Only GOD knows...

2010, was not a good year for me, too much drama, too much depression, too much heartache, but I'm still thankful for all the blessing I received, for friends I gained and lost, for an unsuccessful romance, for me having another year with my family. Having HIV made me realized a lot of things, I am still normal and will still act normal, no new years resolution for 2011 but I have a lot of things I want to do this year. I am looking forward to 2011, hopefully this year will be better. :)