Friday, November 12, 2010

Pregnancy and Conception

I made this article for one of my employers before...


There are several stages in pregnancy and conception; a lot of divisions will take place, as well as millions of sperm cells will die for the goal of reaching their destination --- the egg (ovum). In the long run, only one spermatozoon or sperm cell among an approximately 400 million sperm cells released each ejaculation will be successful in the goal of penetrating the coated ovum and fertilizing it. Such incidence of the union of the spermatozoon and the ovum is the beginning of pregnancy --- the stage called fertilization, or otherwise known as conception, impregnation, or fecundation.

The functional life of a spermatozoon is 48 hours, possibly as long as 72 hours. As such, 72 hours is the critical time on which fertilization should occur (48 hours before ovulation and 24 hours afterwards). The ovum, if not fertilized within 24 hours after ovulation or after it has been released, will also disintegrate. When this happens, fertilization can’t take place as well. Hence, comes the importance of right timing of ovulation and sexual intercourse.

Immediately after penetration of the spermatozoon (sperm cell) to the ovum (egg cell), their chromosomal materials will fuse. The resulting structure of such fusion is called a zygote. The spermatozoon and the ovum each contain 23 chromosomes (22 autosomes and 1 sex chromosome). With this, a fertilized ovum will have 46 chromosomes. If an X-carrying chromosome enters the ovum, the resulting child will have two X chromosomes and will be female (XX). However, if a Y-carrying chromosome enters the ovum, the child will be female with an X and Y chromosomes (XY).

Fertilization, as described above might seem to flow smoothly and hassle-free, but in reality it isn’t that easy to achieve. For fertilization to occur, at least three factors must be met: the maturation of both sperm and ovum, the ability of the sperm to reach the ovum and the ability of the sperm to penetrate the zona pellucida (the membrane surrounding the ovum) and cell membrane.

From the zygote, which is the fertilized ovum, the future child together with the accessory structures needed for it to survive the intrauterine life such as the placenta, fetal membranes, amniotic fluid and umbilical cord are all formed.

Once the zygote becomes a blastocyst which will be around 8 to 10 days after fertilization, implantation or the contact between the growing structure (blastocyst) and the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) will occur. A common sign for this stage is the presence of a small amount of vaginal spotting which can be mistaken as a menstrual period. Once implanted, the zygote is called an embryo.

The developing baby is called an embryo from the moment of conception to the eighth week of pregnancy. After the eighth week and until the moment of birth, the developing baby is called a fetus.

In a nutshell, in just 38 weeks, a fertilized egg matures from a single cell carrying all the necessary genetic material to a fully developed fetus ready to be born.

COOLING Your Home with the Use of COLORS

I made this article for my prospect employer, then...good enough, he liked the article and he even said that I am indeed a writer..and with a sense of humor...:-) Unfortunately, I was only looking for a part-time job by that time and they were in need of a fulltime article, hmm..yeah, I didn't land on the position...hehe...

COOLING your home with the use of COLORS 04-23-10

The temperature inside and outside of the house during this time of the year is undeniably hotter than the rest of the year that you just want to take a cold shower every now and then. If that is the case, then just imagine how much it would cost you on your monthly water bill? To add up to that, most families pay much due to their air-conditioned units working for almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Again, just think of how much money it will cost them?

Well, you might say that they are rich enough to pay for their electric and water bills, but that is not just the underlying issue here. There is a huge negative environmental effect that is directly related to the excess use of electricity and water consumption. By that point of view, we might as well consider some natural ways in cooling our home thus, further decreasing the amount of energy and water that we will consume, as well as shrinking the amount of money that we will have to pay every month.

One natural way to help you save that bulk of money for your electric bills all start from the top of your house ---- the ROOF. The roof which is more exposed to the sun than the rest of the house plays a big role in cooling and/or warming the entire house. How is that so? The answer came from the simple knowledge about the effects of COLOR when it comes to providing a cooler or hotter feeling. You know for a fact that color has a vital part in temperature control. When you were younger, you had been taught in school that darker colors absorb more radiant light from the sun compared to lighter colors. In effect, when you wear black or any other dark color during summer, you will feel the heat from the sun more intensely compared if you are going to wear white or any lighter color that you prefer. Why is that so? Again, it’s simply because dark colors ABSORB more light from the sun that further goes in to your body (or into your house) whereas light color REFLECT more of these radiant light from the sun causing these lights to bounce back thus, lowering the amount of light that will go to your body (or into your house), further causing a cooler effect. I guess, this time, the thought that I am trying to point out is already clear to you --- the COLOR of your roof affects the amount of energy consumption of your entire home.

So, are you now considering lilac colors for your roof? THINK.

Way to Start with Guilt

I wrote this article when I was still in 4th yr college...I really thought I posted this article here at my blog, but I didn't. So, I am posting it now because I do believe this article is very much worthy to be here. Besides, this article was featured on our ROCK Bulletin by that time. It stayed there for more than one semester. Hmmmm, maybe my co-writers were just much busier in writing articles to be published on our magazine than to be featured on our bulletin board. :-)

I hope you'll like it... :-)


Way to Start with Guilt

By: Raymond “Ube” Umpa

It was the first day of our duty----and again, we were directed to the ward. As we stepped into the nurse station, there came a strapping symphony of “lub-dub-lub-dub” reverberating around the corners; penetrating through the walls and occupying our anxious and disturbed emotional and mental consciousness. Then, there was SILENCE! After a fraction of a second, I felt that the carbon dioxide level of my body had outweighed the oxygen saturation within my system. So, I took a deep breath, recollecting what I’ve learned in the fundamentals of nursing and as what I’ve always enumerated in my health teachings to my patients. Indeed, I was relieved of respiratory distress, but not for too long. While I was busy listening and writing the endorsement, I sighted someone a bit captivating with my peripheral vision. It fueled my curiosity to the extent that it had overflowed. So, I had to turn and look as to whoever that person was. I was surprised with the automatic effect of his sight to my being. We had a fleeting moment of having each other’s gaze; yet with that transient and very short eye-to-eye connection, I felt a sudden alteration in my body’s mechanisms--- moments after, I was on the verge of having hypoxia. Good thing that he entered the room that soon, because, if it took him a minute longer, I could have fainted. To add more damage, my pupillary size would have been fully dilated just to accommodate the totality of his commanding and exceptional presence. His charisma was so destructing, yet so magnetic. But, come again? Did I just say he entered the room? Oh yes! That time, my heart jumped a mile while I watched him entering the room of the same ward that I’m into. In my mind, countless thoughts were playing. Instantly, I was preoccupied with the things that I should do to befriend him. To heck with whatever actions that must be done in order for me to emerge triumphant of my silly plans. My god, I was really desperate and so engrossed with my self-centered goal. Nevertheless, I was not sure as to how to actualize it. Knowing my introvert and reserved personality, it would take tons of effort for me to come out of the open and shine for him--- without turning stupid. Then, I felt a resounding “pssst” on my left ear--- I’m on the world again. I almost forgot, we were still on the middle of the endorsement. But, again fate was on my side, because all that I’ve mentioned happened while the nurses were busy chatting in-between the endorsement (Well, they always do that.).

To add up with my luck, I was assigned to the room where that gorgeous guy had entered. I did not know how to react. It was a mixture of excitement, exceeding joy and nerve-wracking episodes. My heart began to palpitate. I can sense it becoming stronger and stronger as we get closer to my room assignment. I could feel that the sudden rush of fortune on my shoulders was so immense that I was caught off-guard. I was like the calm and relaxing sea shore of Phuket, Thailand when Tsunami came in and left a disastrous history. The only difference between the seashore and me is that, the disaster that might happen to me is still to come about. I was only praying that I could be prepared to face such fiasco or otherwise prevent its deadly occurrence. Again, fate was on my side to have a premonition on events that will follow. But, until when would the hand of chance will reside on me? Louis Pasteur said, “Chances favor the prepared mind.” But, it’s not that I must read on piles of books and notes so I could find the perfect formula towards friendship and avoid an impending doom of a fruitful encounter.

Finally, we were leading towards my assigned room number. I took a deep breath and prayed to God that He will guide me all the way. Then, my hand grasped the doorknob, turned it clockwise to open and breathed once more before I took a single step forward. Before I knew it, I was already standing in front of that stunning hunk I’ve been daydreaming of earlier. To add again with the package, there was also another guy on the scene, as handsome and as tall as him. Yet, this guy has a lighter complexion. When, I looked into their eyes, I felt the same vibrancies and spirit. Then on, I knew they were brothers. True enough, we found out later that the lighter guy is the elder brother of my dream guy. But, ooh! I almost forgot my real purpose for our “nursing round” and my duty. I have a patient to take good care of. And that patient of mine just happened to be the mother of my crush-turned-crushes. Ill as she appeared to be, yet she had witnessed how I became accustomed to the eyes of her two handsome sons while I was unmindful of her staring at me. Looking at my patient, I can sense her fragile and vulnerable condition. She was obviously weak yet, I can feel in her eyes the enthusiasm and courage to live more each day. I stood in front of her, while she was sitting on her bed and as her two handsome watchers and other relatives were looking at me. My god, I felt like an ice cream in cone exposed under the sweltering heat of the sun. Then, I introduced myself to her. As far as I can remember, I knew I have tried so hard to remain calm under the intense uneasiness I was feeling that time. When I was talking and doing my thing to my patient, I did not stare to anyone else in the room except her. I cannot look to those guys anymore since I know that they already had a feeling that I had a crush on them. I was really conscious in every move that I made. I felt that I was drowning in an ocean of critical eyes just waiting for the perfect moment to eat me alive. If only I can disappear in a snap of my fingers so I could escape that trap of embarrassment, I would do it without hesitation. While, I was regulating her IV, my mind was busy processing as to how on earth I could excuse myself that soon, without being boorish. Finally, I got the nerve to say I would be back in a while to get her vital signs. At last, I was out of the death row. My group mates flocked in front of me, so thrilled to know the latest buzz on my escapade. They’re just clueless as to how humiliating it was for me, until I sobbed in front of them. I didn’t know why the hell I cried in their presence; just outside the room and adjacent the nurse station. What a perfect setting to accentuate my mortification. While I recalled as to how pathetic I became and how I made a fool out of myself, the drizzling teardrops on my eyes became a torrent of bitter tears. I never gained the strength to go at my patient’s room alone. I asked for some of my group mates to go with me in taking the vital signs, and later on, I totally gave my responsibility over my patient on their shoulders. Then, I learned from them that my patient was looking for me. I was touched yet guilty that I can’t give my care to her just because of my timidity. Moments after, one of my crushes (the older one) also looked for me. I was standing near the room, thinking if I should enter and trying to gain enough courage to do it, when he called me to come closer. I did not ask for a sign but it unveiled to me that swiftly. Of course, I had a bit of hesitation, yet I would be so rude to decline his request--- so I submitted myself to his summon. I was surprised when he offered his hand and introduced himself to me. His hand was so soft and manly that I didn’t want to let go of it. Then, as if he had read my mind, he placed his other hand over mine. That time, his two hands squeezed in my right hand. Right away, I felt my hair starting to grow like that of Rapunzel’s. He was so kind, so welcoming, yet I was so intimidated by his presence. Obviously, the problem was with me. Luck was really on my side, yet I was consciously pushing it away as if I had a million dollars to spend and so much love to take. It was my first time to be in such situation. Maybe, it’s what they say, “beginner’s luck.” Bad thing, that I wasted such once in a lifetime gift of fate. Moreover, to say the worse, the care that I should be giving to my patient that time was compromised. I went home that night with so much regret in my heart. If only, if only, if only --- I resorted for an unending chant of “if only” as I walked out of the hospital and left my patient without saying a word of goodbye “for now” nor sorry that I wasn’t able to look on her needs. I know I could have done better --- If only…

A day after I was shocked to know that just 2 hours ago, my patient had died of cancer. It was five o’clock, then. I didn’t expect not even in my wildest thoughts that my missed “goodbye for now” gesture to my patient the other night will be a gesture of “good bye forever” on the next day. Without hesitation, I, together with one of my group mate went directly to the hospital to give our heartfelt condolence to the family.

My guilt began to haunt me. It was even added when out of my aloofness the other night, the son of my patient still offered his hands and said “thank you” for the care that I gave to his mother. I looked into his eyes and saw the same beauty and depth; only that time, sadness was flooding on the surface.

Kindness can really kill, just like guilt can haunt and hunt you down. I believe there is justice in this world, because now, I am paying the price of being unjust. ®

Sunday, October 10, 2010



It was 4 o’clock in the morning and I became somewhat groggy despite the fact that I literally spent my entire Sunday just sleeping. Not to mention that I also drunk a glass of coffee for my dinner at around 10 in the evening.

So there I was sipping my second cup of coffee, and of course with two packs of crackers to complete the combo. To be more specific, I have a pack of Sky Flakes FIT with Omega-3 and another pack of Honey House crackers. To cut the short story even shorter, I had a problem between which among of the two packs of crackers should I eat first?

The crucial point of making a decision really stirred my mind to think and think harder. Moreover, I should be thankful for it because the act of thinking itself has a synergistic effect with the caffeine from my coffee. True indeed, I am more awake now. Suddenly and unexpectedly, such brief interaction with my brain led me to realize two realities that also somewhat preoccupy my thoughts these past few days.

The first realization was that if I am going to eat first the pack of crackers that I don’t really like that much, then I could be more excited in eating the second pack of crackers that I really love later. Then, again this has something to do with gaining more excitement first or having a stepping stone or a prelude just before I will experience the thing that I am really aiming for --- the thing that I really love. This mentality is also the same with eating the cake first before savoring its sweet and tempting icing. As such, this has also something to do with impulse control.

The second realization was of course the opposite of the first. I also thought that if I were to eat first the pack of crackers that I don’t like that much compared to the one that I really love to eat immediately, then, maybe after consuming the former I will no longer have the same appetite to eat the latter. Of course, that would not bring justice to the pack that I really love to eat since on the first place it is my first choice, and again it is the one that I really love. On the other hand, if I am going to eat the Honey House first (my first choice), then I will no longer need to worry about the risk of not being able to taste the thing that I love the most just because I gave way to tasting first the pack of crackers that I like less.

The two realizations that I mentioned above are also the same thing that bothers me or even you and them during this time. These realizations also boil down from one problem, the predicament between pursuing to something that we really love instantaneously and in leaving such dream first in exchange for some things that we are not that inclined to.

But, of course in real life there are also some differences that can really affect our decision. The primary difference is that with my story, I already have the one that I love the most and all I have to do is to choose it. However, in real life it isn’t totally the same because for us to really achieve our primary goal, we should still work hard towards it. Also, another hindrance that keeps us from pursuing our dream are the sense of security that we have from something that we like less, the difficulties that we need to tread in order to reach our destination and still a lot more. Then, again the common hindrance is just ourselves and our lack of faith in what we can do and what we can do with Him.

So, in order to prevent from having a hanging ending, I chose to eat the Honey House first. Again, true indeed, after I ate it I no longer had enough appetite to consume the pack of Sky Flakes. Why did I choose to eat it first? It’s simple. In real life, we can’t have what we love the most immediately, so when I was given the opportunity to just choose between something that I love the most and something that I really don’t like; I just grabbed the chance of eating what I like the most and I was satisfied.

I really hope this is exactly the same in real life. We can hope, pray and dream; but at the end of the day, only the brave ones who are gutsier in taking chances can experience the beauty and promise of their dreams.

Moral of the story: Next time, I will keep my sight away from Sky Flakes and Honey House crackers so that I won’t have the same problem of complicating an easy task. And also, that I could not give the same problem to the persons that I tagged into this note. My apologies… hehe

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

On Writing for Money or for Pleasure

On Writing for Money or for Pleasure (09-15-10)

Raymond A. Umpa, Writer

I was always a writer as far as my years of experience is concerned; as far as the frisson of intense gratification every after quality article that I have done; as far as the vexation over moments where I seemed to be disembodied, lost and desperate to be back on track with my writing as whirlwind and recalcitrant fiasco just block my mind prohibiting any form of intellect, reason or thought to immigrate on it and fill it once again with the fuel to drive out words to be manifested through my writings.

I was always a writer as far as I can discern through every neural connection that transforms every idea into words is concerned; as far as the eerie shrieking of the cicadas that keeps me company each night where my drive to write always sparks a flicker of life; as far as my need for self-assertion and admiration from a world filled with silence for praising and applause; and where all I can hear is the crunching of a debilitated ladder intensified as I add weight and pressure on it as I force myself up while a part of the world is pulling me down.

I was always a writer despite the pros and cons; despite my acceptance of my failure to pursue towards a formal education on journalism brought by me preoccupation with practicality, with money, with a future that seems to be a tiny black dot on a blank white canvass even with a bespectacled sight.

I was always a writer despite of these all; but the zeitgeist somewhat concerns me now as to the real essence of why I am calling myself a writer. Before I can say I was a writer for pleasure, for self-approval, and for that sense of productivity, sophistication, edginess, intelligence and superiority that writing was providing me. I had never thought before of using my skills to generate money and sustain me with my needs. However, lately I had been blessed with opportunities that I had never imagined to happen.

Being thankful was my utmost state of mind and soul. Yet, as time went by, I sort of felt a feeling of dissatisfaction. A part of me was confused, while the other part of me was somewhat enlightened by the reality.

I was always a writer who writes for myself and for my readers; yet now with the opportunities that I grabbed, I turned out to be a writer who writes for money and for money alone. Or should I say, in a way I might be writing for my readers, as well? But, despite this big possibility I can still feel from within that I am writing for nothing or for no one simply because I am forced to write for things under the sun that are not really of my interest. Simply because, I myself isn’t pleased or left on awe with what comes out to be from each letter that I typed in on my keyboard. Yet, on the other hand, I need to write about those things because those topics are of high interest to the readers; those topics are the ones that will give me big revenue. Yes, it’s all about the money now.

I paused and thought about all of these conundrums; I realized that sometimes you need to adapt to the world in order for you to get the most out of it; sometimes it shouldn’t always be about yourself. Life isn’t about you every time. Besides, what happens to the saying, “no man is an island”? In a way, I should still be grateful of all these chances; it isn’t really true that it’s all just about the money this time. How could I say that I am writing just for that purpose when a part of the million people out there, my words ring a bell, touch lives, informs, entertains, comforts and educates them?

At the end of the day, I really don’t need to draw a line between writing for money and for pleasure. When I write for money on which I write about topics that don’t really catch my interest, I am still writing for myself; for my pleasure that will be felt on the long-term and not just a spark of the moment satisfaction. As such, I don’t have to be bothered by these concerns anymore.

I was a writer and I still I am regardless of the purpose, the form, the message, the readers, the benefits and the satisfaction incorporated from my outputs.

I am a writer despite any issue that comes and will come along my way. I am a writer and that wouldn’t be changed by any internal or external terminators seeking for the perfect moment to catch me off guard. I am a writer and I will be remembered that way. I may not live to be a hundred years old, yet through my writings I will live more than that.

Then, again I might not live another day, yet at least I have to die at peace and at bliss. Besides, I will not really leave this world, because I will always be alive not just in the hearts of those who love me, but in the core of every letter that is in black and white on all my written masterpieces.

With this, it really isn’t just about writing for money or for pleasure at all; it is writing beyond any human reason can fathom, beyond any human existence. I am writing for my legacy; for my immortalization.

----That, my dear reader is the essence of being a writer. ®

Monday, February 1, 2010

37, 527 out of 94,462 Nursing Graduates Passed the November, 2009

A total of 37, 527 out of 94,462 nursing graduates passed the November, 2009 licensure examination.

The examination was given by the Board of Nursing in the cities of Manila, Baguio, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, La Union, Legazpi, Lucena, Pagadian, Pampanga, Sulu, Tacloban, Tuguegarao and Zamboanga last November 2009.

The oathtaking ceremony of the successful examinees in the said examination in Manila as well as the previous ones who have not taken their Oath of Professional will be held before the Board on Monday and Tuesday, March 8 and 9, 2010, with morning (8:00 A.M.) and afternoon (1:00 P.M.) sessions at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City. All must come in their white gala uniform, nurse’s cap, white duty shoes, without earrings, hair not touching the collar and without corsage.

The Professional Regulation Commission reminded those who will register are required to bring the following: duly accomplished Oath Form or Panunumpa ng Propesyonal, current Community Tax Certificate (cedula), 2 pieces passport size picture (colored with white background and complete name tag), 1 piece 1” x 1” picture (colored with white background and complete name tag), 2 sets of metered documentary stamps, and 1 short brown envelope with name and profession; and to pay the Initial Registration Fee of P600 and Annual Registration Fee of P450 for 2010-2013. Successful examinees should personally register and sign in the Roster of Registered Professionals.

Oathtaking tickets for the National Capital Region (NCR) and nearby regions will be available at the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) at 1663 F.T. Benitez Street, Malate, Manila, starting Monday, February 8, 2010 on a “first come first serve” basis.

November 2009 Nursing Board Exam TOP TEN

With Less Than 30 Examinees

With 30-99 Examinees

With 100 and More Examinees

November 2009 Nursing Board Exam Result

November 2009 Nursing Board Exam Result

The result came out last night (January 31, 2009) at around 10:40...
Congratulations to all the new registered nurses...
Carpe Diem!!! :-)

November 2009 Nursing Board Exam Result

Friday, January 1, 2010

God's Message for Me

(It’s already 3:51 am when I finished writing this)

This was the message of God for me yesterday, January 1, 2010:

It made me think about it for a while. I asked myself, “Is this a sign?”--- But, I failed to have an enlightened mind. Then, after a minute it just went into my subconscious. As if, I have not read it at all.

But, when I was about to totally fall asleep already, there was a sudden flow of thoughts in my mind. Those same things that bother me when I desperately want to sleep but I can’t. Only this time, it made me stand up and face my laptop again. How intriguing and moving those thoughts were that it literally pushed me to write them out now. Well, actually the thoughts that I am referring to are somewhat connected with each other as well. So to say it short, in a short span of time, it made me consider applying to be a review assistant because I somehow feel within me that it can open more doors for me. I have this feeling in my gut that this is the right thing for me to do. I am not really ignorant of this move, because I had also considered it before. But then, because of the timing last year I wasn’t able to pursue with it. More so, it has been my dream already since my review days for our Novmeber 2008 NLE to be a reviewer someday. But again, there were situations after I took the board exam that lead me towards other directions. I believe this time would be the right time for me to take a single step closer towards that dream --- and that is by being a review assistant for a moment.

Being a reviewer might just be a dream now, but let me remind you that today’s just the second day of 2010…

Who knows what will happen as days go by?

Welcome 2010!!!

Farewell 2009...
It has been a year filled with tears...
On the bright side, the tears weren't shed just for a sad nor a painful cause...
Still most were tears of joy...
Nonetheless, I thank God for 2009...
I had been into the ups and downs in my love life..
I had struggled my way towards moving on and even just trying to be my endeavors.
I had not really achieved my goals for 2009...
Yet it was God's Thy will be done...

This year...
I believe God has greater plans for me..
I believe that this year will be the best yet, of my life...
I have hight faith for this year...
And as I go along facing all of this year's challenges...
I am confident enough that I will surpass all of it...

I had cried out to God already...
Questioning His will for me last year...
But, then instead of getting myself stuck with my disappointments...
I choose to stand up again and fight...
With God, all things are possible...

So, 2010...
Here I am...
Fresh from a moving and challenging year...
I had a strong push to reach all my goals this time around...

Happy New Year to ALL!!! :-)

Fight! Fight! Fight!