Saturday, May 29, 2010

Better Living Through Chemistry... and of course Dieting

Three months into my husband's stay in the Philippines, the medicines which he brought with him had already run out. So we went to the doctor at Healthway at SM the Block and got a prescription for the same medicines. Well, maybe not exactly the same medicines, as it turns out, some medicine wasn't available locally and although all four of the blood pressure medicine was available they were not available in the same dosage.

The generic metoprolol was available in the exact same dosage, and the brand we were prescribed with was Neobloc and it didn't cost so much -- P3.75 for 50 mg.

My husband's second medicine was a combination diuretic and blood pressure medicine - Triamterene and Hydrochlorothiazide. Unfortunately, no such concoction exists in any national or local pharmacy. I have asked three drug stores already -- the big Mercury Drug, the Generic Drugstore and MedExpress. None of them carried Triamterene. So we have only Hydrochlorothiazide, and it cost P4.50 for 50 mg.

The last two were the costlier ones. The Diovan which was prescribed to us for 160 mg. costed around P60++ I think. We got a discount card which gave us 40% discount on our prescription.

The most expensive one was Accupril (Quinapril), that costed around P56 per 20 mg tablet. The sad thing is my husband is prescribed 40 mg twice a day, so we have to buy 4 20 milligrams to cover his usual prescription. We also have a discount card for it but it only gives a 40% discount for 32 tablets and we need about 120 tablets a month. Even with the 40% discount, we pay around P5600++ for Accupril (Quinapril), which my husband says he gets very cheaply in the U.S.

We are considering getting that abroad, but for the moment, I think it isn't worth the trouble. Over all, we pay about $200 for his medicines, which is certainly better than my original worst case scenario.

But the problem is, minus the Triamterene and the four 20-mg Accupril tablets which do not really have the same effect as two 40 mg Accupril tablets, my husband's blood pressure has gotten elevated. We have seen the doctor several times since then in the hopes of getting a better concoction, but no one wants to prescribe higher than what is already prescribed because they say it is already too high a dosage as it is. However, they did say he can take an extra Diovan a day if his blood pressure is alarmingly high in a day. We monitor his blood pressure everyday.

Apparently, filipinos, being slimmer as they are, really do not need high dosage of medicines as some Americans are prone to need because of their weight. So, it seems the only feasible solution to this problem is to lose weight, exercise more and eat more catabolic food. Less of the fattening fast foods on weekends and certainly more sensible foods at home.

Also, I have already relegated myself to the reality that a 24-hour aircon is a necessity than a luxury. Especially with the heat these days, there is no way I could have him turn the aircondition off at any time. I am just thinking of it as an investment in my husband's health.

Friday, May 28, 2010

13 A Temporary Resident Visa Approved!

And just in time too.. Our first extension, which was a two-month extension ended last May 12, 2010. We unfortunately had to extend it one more time until June 12, 2010, since we didn't receive any notice from the Bureau of Immigration in the beginning of May. Last week, I finally received a text from a staff at the Bureau of Immigration for my husband to bring his passport for visa implementation and he can now get an Alien Certificate of Registration Card.

The processing time certainly wasn't as bad as I heard. Thanks to the Bureau of Immigration, Makati for their expeditious response to our petition. I'll see them again next year, when the temporary visa expires.

For those who want to know,here are the requirements:

1) Bureau of Immigration general application form.
2) Bureau of Immigration Request for Clearance form.
3) NSO issued Marriage Certficate if you were married in the Philippines. If not, a Marriage Certificate duly authenticated by the country where you were married.
4) Letter by your filipina/filipino spouse petitioning the foreigner spouse under 13 (a).

Here are some of my posts narrating our ordeal:

1) Filing of petition.
2) Interview

Monday, May 10, 2010

Casted my Lot for Yellow

Today is the 2010 Presidential elections, and if you ask me right now who I voted for President I would say, although hesitantly, that it was Noynoy Aquino. Why hesitantly you might ask? Am I not proud of who I voted for? I say hesitantly, because half the pseudo intellectuals I call as friend would not find my choice to be the most intelligent, or bearing the earmarks of a true intellectual. After all, if school allegiance was the consideration, the fact that Noynoy Aquino alone is a graduate of a competing school to my alma matter, raises the flag that he isn't the right choice. But after several years of adult life, a great majority of it spent already after college, I realized that being a UP graduate alone is not the proper indicia for what would qualify as a good president. After all, former President Ferdinand Marcos, a bona fide UP law school graduate, with all his intellect and skill is still considered to have been one of the worst Philippine President of all time, having ushered several decades of total authoritarian regime, squelching democracy and fostering cronyism. Being intelligent alone obviously does not make for a good President when ones heart is not right. After all, now President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is not only an Ateneo graduate but a graduate of a prestigious U.S. ivy league school. All her intellect could not save her from her greed for power.

So what do I see in Noynoy? I can tell you neither impressive intellect nor skill. No capacity for rhetorical speeches like Obama, nor does he possess the kind of charisma that his father has. But I cast my lot to the most unlikely man of the hour, because I see in him the right heart. The heart of humility that I think is lacking in any of the running candidates. A heart who knows that the task at hand is greater than him and greater than the euphoria that has now brought him ahead in the surveys for the Presidential race.

I do not expect any ushering of eutopia. I expect very little from him except honesty and integrity which I have seen from both his parents. Maybe his only claim for fame is his name, but it is in that name that I am casting my lot, knowing that if he is half the Filipino he is, he will never do anything to shame his parent's name.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Busy with Work and Marriage :P

I don't have a good excuse for not keeping my blog up to date. I just have too much on my plate so to speak, and I couldn't seem to compose a cohesive article of reasonable interest for someone else other than myself.

Nonetheless all is well in paradise still inspite two major events that was unexpected:

> Drop in the value of the dollar against the peso;
From the time my Asawa came to the Philippines in the middle of February, the dollar has dropped from P45.8 to P44.3 to a dollar. If we relied solely on his pension, it would certainly be disconcerting that the value of the dollar has dropped. But fortunately, we have as much liquidity in peso as we have in dollar. My salary (in peso) basically takes care of the weekly expense while his dollar covers the major expenses like rent, utilities and his medicines. It is still a paradise for us here and we are still thankful inspite of what has been happening to the dollar.

> Rise in the price of electricity.
Our electric bill rose from P3000++ for the period of February 8 to March 7, to P6,000++ for the period of March 8 to April 7. A big chunk of the electric consumption can be attributed to a 1.5 aircondition, which is necessary for my Asawa who has high blood pressure. It was exacerbated by the fact that the temperature has not exactly been favorable hovering within 37 degrees celsius. I am still praying that the next bill is not going to be as bad as everyone says it will.

There are other things I am still working on. I act like my Asawa's personal secretary so I have my husband's to-do list on top of my own to-do list and that gives me alot to do. I was offered a scholarship for Public Management in a Singapore College and I am still pondering whether I want to take it. At any rate, I will still endeavor to come up with something more than a narration of my trivial life.