Bridal Shower #2/ Birthday/ Despedida Party: Luau

May 9, 2014— my last day at work and ironically also my boss’ (Mrs. Abaya) birthday. Coincidentally, my first day at work fell on September 7 which also happened to be my birthday. To those who’ve always wondered what I do (or did) for a living in Houston, I was a medical assistant for one of the best Filipino Nephrologists in the Houston Medical Center  (no bias at all). And the Texas Medical Center in Houston is in fact the largest medical center in the entire world as of the moment so I would want to assume that Dr. Abaya is one of the best nephrologists out there.

Now I know I took up BA Theater Arts in college, I majored in “performance”, clearly I had no medical background whatsoever. And just to add up to that, I never did like the medical field, I could tolerate it but never did I go looking for it. To my advantage, this husband and wife tandem took me in and took a chance on me. I’ve always wondered what they saw in me, heck if I interviewed myself I wouldn’t even hire “me”. I didn’t know what I was taking about but I acted like I did though, of course I am a performer, surprisingly after a few days they called and I started working with them part time at first and eventually full time. Maybe it was the fact the Dr. Abaya went to the University of the Philippines and he saw on my resume that I did too, other than being Filipino that was our only connection, in our fields of expertise we had null.

The Abayas were my first ever employers in Houston and my last before flying back to the Philippines to live there temporarily. That small, skinny girl from 7 years ago who knew nothing is no more, today I can honestly say that I am a medical assistant in the full essence of it. I can handle difficult patients, triage medical complaints, memorize procedure and diagnoses codes, charge visits, check vital signs, verify medication, get claims paid, appeal ones that aren’t paid, do credentialing for the doctor and the practice but most importantly I have learned to genuinely care for my patients and I have learned to get to the bottom of their problems and concerns with their insurance, their health, their medications, their appointments, their everything.

I will miss you all and I will miss our patients. To those patients who scheduled appointments just to see me before I leave…Thank you. To those who went into the trouble of getting me a little something and writing me sweet notes…Thank you. And to those who came by on my last day even without scheduled appointments just to give me a hug and send me their well-wishes…Thank you. I cannot promise you that I’ll be back in a year to work as a medical assistant again but I hope that our paths will cross someday and when that day comes I hope you will still remember me.

Instant Luau at our kitchen/ break room

My mentor and today’s birthday girl— Mrs. Abaya

Today’s pika-pika. Yessenia tried to compromise by throwing in some healthy stuff like carrots, broccoli, pretzels and some fruits but we obviously went for the cheese, crackers, m&m’s, cupcakes and donut holes.

Mrs. Abaya brought in lunch from La Madeline

For the past few years my boss would get me this awesome cake for my birthday or special occasions, here’s one last for good times sake

The famous Sacher Torte from La Madeline

Flowers for Mrs. Abaya from Yessenia

I got her white tulips

Dr. Abaya and Mrs. Abaya

Yessenia, a new found friend that Im leaving so soon.

P.S. She’s also getting married this July 2014.

Bernardino F. Abaya, MD and staff

….I am what I am today, Dr. Abaya and Mrs. Abaya, because of you. Thank you for taking a chance on me, for being patient with me, for training me and for teaching me everything I know today about the medical practice. Your kindness and generosity will never be forgotten. One way or the other, I know I’ll get to use all of these skills you’ve taught me, hopefully when Marco starts his own practice in the future. I am forever grateful, Abayas.

~Rhea

Less is More

Katsie’s last night in Houston and we had a small despedida dinner at Genghi’s Grill—yesss, Mongolian food, I feel like it’s been forever since I last had that.

A hint of domestication: laundry bin and pots spotted..haha.

I conjured up my own recipe and it turned out perfectly fine. Mmmm…

Katsie and the Ramases

Supposedly a picture of Katsie with the Ramas girls. I’m not sure why John was in the picture.

All done and ready to go

Pau and Katsie with the Posadas(es) and Costanillas

with Ian, Jerico, Jo and Rad

Group Photo. They all made it even if they live an hour-drive away…y’all are the sweetest.

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What I wore to the despedida:

(TOP: striped spaghetti, SM Department Store/ PANTS: high-waist button cigarette pants, from Cebu/ BLAZER: jersey sheet material, Forever 21/ SHOES: gold pointed, Image, $6.00/ PURSE: snake skin print, from tita Joy and tito Berns/ EARRINGS: thrifted, $0.50/ BANGLES: Forever 21)

Someone iron my pants, please? Haha

Keeping it simple: sticking to closet basics and adding a touch of gold

Accessory Details

Awkward Feet

That Go-to messy bun

Forgive the pants, they clearly are in dire need of ironing but this outfit was something I came up with last minute. It was one of those days…I didn’t think the dinner was going to be held outside our house. I completely thought that my brother was gonna come up with something special at home for Katsie and I could just comfortably wear my pajamas to dinner. Apparently not, I came home from work and was almost convinced to not change and just wear my scrubs out but I did think it through and I realized that we were going to be taking a bunch of pictures so I grabbed the first thing that came into my head: a striped spaghetti strap that I usually wear as an undershirt, unironed high waist pants and a casual blazer that just needed to be finished up so I could throw it in the laundry. And so as not to feel so bad about my outfit, I threw in a pair of gold pointy shoes and I think that did it. With no makeup on and with my hair up in a messy bun, I headed downstairs and the first thing my mom told me was : You look nice. Then I smiled —that was all I needed, an affirmation from my mother. It may or may not be true but with those 3 words I walked out of that house feeling less crappy about what I wore. Thanks for the ego-boost mom. Haha.

How do moms do that? They know what you need even before you ask for it. Just a thought…

~Rhea