So I Decided to Get an IUD

First off, let’s make this clear: I don’t want a debate over premarital sex, or natural vs other forms of birth control. This post is not about morality or religious views, nor is it about whether or not I should start having children because of my age. Second, I’m not a doctor so the rest of this post will be based heavily on personal experience.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about Intra-Uterine Devices or IUDs.

I am in my late 20’s, in a monogamous relationship with a wonderful person, but we both agreed that we have no immediate plans for marriage and children. Because priorities. With some research, a lot of questions answered by doctor friends and a bit of a medical background (I have a Nursing degree), I made the choice to get an IUD last April.

IUDs have been around for years and years, but in this very conservative country that I live in, it’s a little talked about birth control option. In my experience, it’s not something that you can ask from just any OB-GYN, especially in Pro-Life / anti-RH institutions. I could be wrong of course, but it took me a bit of research to find an OB GYN that offers IUDs without prejudice against my background of being unmarried and childless. Believe me when I say that I’ve had my fair share of judgy looks for actively and directly seeking birth control.

There is no scarcity of knowledge about this birth control option, since a lot of information is readily available on the internet, but there are just not a lot of personal experience from fellow Filipinas. I for one think real, personal experiences from peers is a huge help in deciding on major decisions such as this one. I actually got a gynecologist recommendation from a blogger too!

So here I am, writing about mine, just in case someone like me out there is considering getting one too.

What is it? How does it work?

Do your Googling, but I think you can already glean from the name that it’s a tiny device that is meant to be inserted in the uterus.

All IUDs affect the way sperm move to prevent the sperm from fertilizing an egg. IUDs also change the lining of the uterus, which is thought to prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the wall of the uterus.


Read more about it here.


Image from

I’m not going to go into detail about the process of getting one, but my inspiration Childfree Filipina has a wonderfully detailed blow-by-blow. Click here to read about her IUD insertion experience, which is almost identical to mine since we have the same gyno.

You wanna insert THAT in your uterus?? WHY?

As with a lot of things, it’s a personal choice. Why not condoms? Why not birth control pills? Why not natural birth control methods? These options are non-invasive and readily available even without help from a Gyno!

Okay first of all, I advise against taking any sort of medication without checking with your doctor first, oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) included. There are so many different brands and types of OCPs out there, all of which have associated risks and side effects. I highly recommend working with your gyno in finding the right one for you.

Personally I don’t really fancy the mood swings and weight-gain/bloating side effects associated with OCPs. It’s a mababaw reason but there you go.

Condoms, on the other hand…well. Let’s just say I’m not overly fond of them now that I’m in a monogamous relationship. I think a lot of men and women would share the same sentiment.

Apart from that, here are my favorite things about the IUD:

  1. It’s incredibly low-maintenance
    It’s kind of a lazy girl’s choice, to be honest. Once it’s in there, you won’t really have to think about it for the next 5 years (for hormonal IUDs) and 10 years (for copper IUDs). You won’t have to worry about running out of rubbers in the worst possible times. You won’t have to remember to take a pill daily, or replace your patch, or think about when you should get your next injectable. You won’t have to keep checking your lady calendar or take your temperature and monitor your lady fluids on a daily basis to see if it’s ‘safe’ for you to ‘get busy’.

    On the next period after insertion, you’d need to visit your gyno just to make sure it’s still in place. It’s advisable to have it checked by the gyno at least once a year thereafter, which isn’t really that bad since you’re supposed to get a Pap smear once a year too anyway. You can DIY the checking bit yourself, here’s how.

    Once you decide that you’re ready for baby making, just schedule another visit to have it removed then you can proceed with the procreation.

  2. It’s crazy cost effective.
    Think about it. Condoms cost around Php 540 for a 2 boxes of 12 (Durex pricing on Lazada, if anyone’s wondering). Say you consume the 24 in one month, Php 6,528 a year. OCPs on the other hand cost about Php 400-500 a pack, which amounts to Php 4,800-6,000 a year. Sure there are cheaper options brands but I tend to choose the highly recommended ones by doctors and peers which unfortunately also cost more.

    I got my copper IUD fitted for around Php 2,500, and, barring complications, I’m good for 10 years. Now do the math. One could argue that natural methods are absolutely FREE of charge but…well. See reason #1.

  3. Success rate
    From the studies I read through, IUDs have a success rate at around 99%. Not perfect, but higher than the other birth control options. And also because of reason #1, there’s just less chances of human error (like you forgetting to use a rubber or pop your pill).

HOLD UP: so you’re saying IUDs have NO side effects / risks??

Of course not. The most commonly known risks are perforation (meaning it may pierce through your uterus) or expulsion (your uterus pushes it out). Yeah I know that sounds like it’s from some horrible gore movie.

My OB-GYN said that perforation commonly happens during the insertion part. With an experienced gyno, the risk is very low. Mine was inserted with the aid of an ultrasound, which helped le doctor better visualize what he was doing inside my lady parts. It’s extremely important to make sure that your gyno has enough experience fitting IUDs if you decide to get one from him/her.

As for expulsion, this is the reason why it is recommended for you to visit your gyno for another ultrasound after the first period you have post-IUD insertion.

Common side effects (for copper IUDs at least) are heavier periods, more painful period cramping and possible inter-cycle spotting. Sounds awful, yeah? To me, however, all of these don’t sound any less awful than the risks associated with other methods. It’s just a lot less fiddly.

Should you experience any adverse side effects, better check with your doctor.

So what are the downsides?

I’m currently on my fifth month with it and the only major downside I can think of is that my period cramps are legit worse after the IUD. It’s not the debilitating kind of pain though, since I can still manage the 1.5 hour commute to and from work as well as the work day itself without being totally useless, but then again my pain tolerance is pretty high.

Oh and also, there is always one day per cycle where my bleeding is extremely heavy.

Other than these, the IUD hasn’t given me any reason to regret it.

So there you have it! My personal experience in getting and living with an IUD. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or check out these nifty links:

Carpooling with Wunder

I haven’t written anything on here in a REALLY long time, but now seems as good a time as any to go back to writing, at least for this subject.

People in my network would be familiar with my very colourful commuter stories. For those who aren’t, hello, I am Chenyl and I am your average commuter. My daily route to work involves a jeepney ride, and a transfer from the jeepney to a multi-cab (dem orange vans). The whole trip takes about an hour and a half, depending on traffic and weather conditions.


Everyday is an adventure. (Image via

A lot of things can happen in a 1.5hour trip. You encounter many different kinds of people, drivers, fellow commuters and some hitchhikers, all with varying levels of agreeability. These kinds of people merit their own posts, but I’ll save that for another time.


I think many would agree that commuting in Metro Manila is still very far from Utopian levels, in terms of convenience and safety. In my quest for a better way of commuting to work, I stumbled upon Wunder.

“Wunder: Carpool with friends”


Image from Wunder’s Press Kit

Wunder is a carpooling app that started in Hamburg in 2014, and it entered Metro Manila in February 2016.

The app links you to a network of people who go in the same general direction as you do, letting you “hitch” a ride and share the cost of fuel. You sign up using either an e-mail address or your Facebook account, and then choose to be either a Passenger or a Driver. My experience was that of a Passenger’s.

As a Passenger, you enter your preferred pick-up and drop-off points and pick-up time. The app searches the best “matches” for your requirements (lol Tinder?!). When a driver finds your route specifications agreeable, he accepts your trip and contacts you personally to coordinate.

Image from Wunder’s Press Kit

What makes it different from other ride-sharing apps?

  • Business Model
    Wunder aims to build a community of carpoolers linked through the app, and the intention is to utilise the extra space in a vehicle and then split the cost of fuel. It is not meant to be used as a TNC unlike the other ride-sharing services available in Manila today. Drivers are limited to two rides daily, one bound for work and another for the trip home. As a rider and a Manila resident, I am happy with this concept, since it will keep pricing down and will not encourage people to use this for profit, worsening the road congestion in the process. The business model is better explained by this post.
  • Pricing
    Wunder currently requires no booking fees, and it costs Php 4 / KM. There are plans of introducing additional fees in the future, once there are enough users. BOO that, but I guess it’s not surprising. However, since the pricing model only aims to cover part of the driver’s fuel expense and not make a huge profit, the cost won’t shoot up significantly for passengers even with a booking fee. (I hope.)
  • Ride Quality and Safety Assurance
    Where Uber and Grab has a screening process for the cars and drivers that they deploy, Wunder does not seem to have this. What they do have is a star-rating system similar to Grab and Uber (at least for the drivers; not sure if there’s a rider rating). Based on the driver’s ratings – and perhaps some Google-fu skills if that’s your thing – it’s up to you to decide whether you trust the person or not. Challenge here is that since the app is new, users and user reviews are currently limited. I was lucky enough to book a ride with someone who was not a creep and had a relatively new/well-maintained car, BUT that was a bit of a risk since he had no previous rides/ratings to help me discern. Also, e-mail addresses and Facebook accounts are easy enough to fake, so do take the necessary precautions in accepting riders/passengers.
  • Route Flexibility
    In your account, you indicate if your preferred pick-up and drop-off points/schedules are flexible. If you say that you are slightly or very flexible, the driver and passenger can coordinate and agree on a different pickup/drop off point depending on the driver’s route. The challenge I see here is that you currently couldn’t do that level of coordination in-app, you have to do it via call or SMS. I haven’t explored the app fully, so I’m not sure if you can change your trip specs once it has been accepted so I don’t know how you will be able to recalculate your fare estimate.
  • Payment Options
    Wunder currently accepts cash payments only.

What I loved:

In a nutshell, the experience was similar to taking an Uber or a Grab Car, but pre-booked well in advance and at half the price. The cost is still about 3x more expensive than my usual fare via jeeps and multicabs, but I guess that’s the price you pay for comfort and safety. Will the cost go down if there were more passengers in the car? I sure hope so!

Also, I really like the idea of “real” ride-sharing too, hopefully more people get on the network. Our roads BADLY need decongesting.


Guess where! (Image via


Where Wunder can improve:

    • Notifications
      Even though the app was running in the background, I was only notified that one of my requests have been accepted via e-mail. I didn’t receive a notification from the app itself. My e-mail notifications have been turned off to save on battery, so if my designated driver didn’t SMS me personally, I wouldn’t have known that I had a confirmed ride.
    • Expense Visibility
      I couldn’t see my estimated fare in the app. Not sure if I just didn’t use the app correctly but from my end, I couldn’t see any sort of fare calculator during the booking phase. When the trip ended, the app told me to pay “Php 0” which is impossible. The driver said the app indicated Php 95. Weird, but okay, I paid the Php 95 anyway.
    • Visibility of the Car’s Details
      Again, not sure if this is something that the driver is required to indicate from his end, but from my end I was not able to see the car’s plate number or car model. I had to ask the driver via SMS. Sure that’s easy enough to do, but it’s a safety risk too.
    • Additional Passengers
      There’s no clear rule if it’s a 1 : 1 Booking : Passenger thing. Of course you can always coordinate with your driver if he’ll agree to more than one passengers per booking, but how does the pricing work then?

Overall the experience was very pleasant and I’m willing to try it again. Will I use it every day? Probably not, given that its 3x the cost of my usual commute. Of course, it’s unfair to expect that the cost will be at jeepney-levels, but thrice the price on a daily basis is just super steep for someone like me.

Hopefully, with more users, the cost will go further down and it’ll at least be within FX-price levels. But for now, or until I get a hefty pay raise, commuter safety and comfort will have to take the blow, once again. *cries*

More about Wunder:
Official Website
Business World feature



Irie (I-rie \I ‘ -ree) is a word in Jamaican Patois that can mean 1: powerful and pleasing 2: excellent, highest n 3: the state of feeling great. 

Rhythm and darkness and heavy raindrops press in on her, and she sways along with the music with her eyes closed and her ears open. The rain was cold, her skin was warm and her thoughts were a hazy mess of half-thoughts, but it was not entirely unpleasant.

She hadn’t planned on being here tonight, so far away from where she intended to be. However, she found that she was enjoying herself far more than she would have been able to on her own, as is usual with other random nights like these that are used to fill her calendar.

“Let’s dance,” he says in her ear, a welcome sound above the clamor of carefully constructed beats and melodies. When she opens her eyes, his smile is bright and his hands spread before him by way of invite.

She hesitates, lip between her teeth. He was a stranger by all accounts, and she had sworn to herself not to dance with strangers anymore. Not after all the trouble it almost always leads to.

But then again, random nights like these always begin with strangers, and they always end up with a new set of friends.

“Come on. What are you afraid of?” he urges once again. This time, she smiles back and takes that first step forward.

And then his hands were on her waist and suddenly the floor was no longer beneath her and she was flying, flying, weightless and unshackled from the gravity that held her down.


The Green Line

A busy last day, it was.

I have been everywhere and nowhere all at once, flitting from one place to another, a crazed butterfly eager to visit every part of this strange, foreign garden before flying home.

So much to do, so much to see, and yet still so very little time.

And so there I stood, the tracks rumbling beneath my feet as I took the time to soak in every detail, committing them all to memory.

It will be a while before I’ll be here again, if I even do return. It would cost quite a lot to go back you see. I’d gladly do it if there’s something worth going back for, however. No one knows, really.

I would very much like to come back, of course. Perhaps even stay. I like it here. It’s clean. Quiet. Structured.


The train came to a screeching halt, signalling the end of this ride, and the beginning of my next.

And then, above the din of unfamiliar tongues, I hear my name. Through a sea of strange faces, past the rushing feet and shoving arms, I see you smile.

And a photograph just won’t be enough to capture that moment.

Photo credit to trappedinreality


Author’s Note: Hardly anything inspires me to write these days, but my recent out-of-the-country trip was one of those rare things that brings me back to my muses. Here’s to hoping it happens more often.

Wanderlust Series 1: Corregidor Island

Corregidor is one of those places that I’ve been itching to go to for the longest time. A friend of mine mentioned a long time ago that there were affordable tours for the island but I just never got around to going there.

We got the opportunity to finally visit the island during my dad’s most recent vacation here in the Philippines. You see, his stay was short so we didn’t really have the time to book something grandiose. Fortunately, Corregidor is quite near and we’ve never gone there before so it’s still something new to experience.

Inside M/V Bay Cruiser.

Sun Cruises is the provider of tour packages and transportation from Manila to the Island. Booking and reservations for the trip was quite a breeze. Most of the instructions and details about their packages are already found on the website, so from visiting the site you can already get an idea of what package you want to avail.

Corregidor isn’t as popular as, say, Boracay or Puerto Galera, as a vacation destination, so scheduling wasn’t difficult. We called Friday afternoon for a scheduled day tour and overnight stay on the following day and we got slots with no problem.

There were two basic packages to avail of: the guided historical tour and the walking tour. The main difference between the two is the mode of transportation within the island. The guided historical tour lets you visit the main points of attractions via tranvia.  The walking tour on the other hand is a bit of a hike. You visit the main points on foot, plus you have the option of going inside caves and woodland trails and all that fun stuff that you cannot reach via tranvia.

The tranvia; which is basically a bus with open sides. (Photo credit from

We took the walking tour at my insistence because we gorged ourselves too much over the holiday. I figured we could use the exercise.

I wasn’t able to take any photos of the cave exploration part, so I’m borrowing one from

Excuse the footwear, it was a walking tour and I didn’t want to ruin my other pair of shoes.

Greetings from the Lighthouse.

How many stories can these old walls tell?
(Photo credit:

If you’re staying overnight, there are several activities you can do on the day after the main tour. We opted for a round of Zipline, and then just went petiks on the beach. The beach quite rocky though, so not really an ideal site to sunbathe on.

A very rocky beach


What I loved:

The history. Their guides certainly knew a LOT about what went down in every site. They can tell you which craters were made by bomb hits and shrapnel, which trails were caved in and whatnot. Probably my favorite part would be the bat cave and the Malinta Tunnels, where you can find Manuel Quezon’s old office, hospital ward tunnels and the secret passageway that McArthur used to escape from Corregidor. I think it was also where he uttered his famous words “I shall return.”

The rustic feel. Though airconditioned and clean, Corregidor Inn’s interiors were not too glamorous. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that it didn’t feel like a hotel. In fact it looked pretty much like an old house, which went with the whole history thing. The island is powered by solar energy and generators; only one TV can be found in the whole building because the generators won’t be able to sustain TVs in all 31 rooms.

Corregidor Inn

The view from my window. Now wouldn’t you want to wake up to that?

The two-bedroom suite. (Photo credit:

What I didn’t love so much:

The food. I was severely disappointed with La Playa’s menu, which didn’t offer that many choices. My father was looking forward to some fresh seafood. I suppose he thought seafood would be easy to come by since we’re on an island and the sea is so close, but he was disappointed by that as well. Turns out, the food and ingredients they have on hand were also from Manila, and their generators can’t sustain superfreezers that can keep the seafood fresh. For the price range of 150-400php, the cooking was bleh. “Southwestern Fried Chicken” is literally just fried chicken. Chef’s Special was fried fish. The Spare ribs tasted like tocino. They have excellent churros though, but other than that, everything else on the menu isn’t too good.

The rather sad menu. No further food porn because I do not like lies.


History enthusiasts and nature lovers would have a blast here. I think even RPG geeks would have a heck of a time with all the canons, weapons and war memorabilia. I swear, I couldn’t stop associating inane words like “Quartermaster” with World of Warcraft. “I am ready to exchange my Arena Points now. Where be my Wrathful Set?”


– If you’re a first timer, or if you’re not too fond of long walks and hikes, go for the bus tour.

Bring your own food if you’re planning on staying overnight. Save your money and avoid disappointment. But do try the churros.

– Seems like a nice place to hold team buildings. No videoke though, but I think they’ll have a “recreational area” up and running soon. Though the lodging and food weren’t too classy, I didn’t really mind. I came here for the experience and for the history, and what an experience it was indeed.



Historical Walking Tour Package: PHP 1,788 per head [incl of roundtrip ferry transfers; shrine, entrance and terminal fees; guided walking tour, packed lunch and tour kit, fuel surcharge]
Accommodation: PHP 4,000 per room per night (2-br suite), max 4 persons per room
Food: PHP 150-400 per person per meal
Misc  Activities:
– Sunset Viewing – PHP 250 per head
– “Ghost Hunting” – PHP 250 per head
– Zip-line – PHP 150 per head
– ATV – PHP 500 per hour

The Wanderlust Series

It began with the family trip to Corregidor.

That trip awakened my long-dormant desire to travel. The fact that I like traveling, experiencing new things, seeing sights and learning about other cultures and history was reawakened during my visit to the historic island. However, travel can also be quite expensive, so I never really had the chance to do this (save for my business trips to Davao).

Thanks to corporate level wages, seat sales and group buying sites, the dream of traveling didn’t seem so far-fetched anymore.

After Corregidor, there was Boracay, the first out of town trip that I had with friends that was not within Luzon. A long time ago, we all made a wish, saying that we hope one day, when we say let’s meet up, we mean meet up in Boracay. Despite the monsoon season, we made the trip happen, and still had a blast.

As an early birthday present for myself, I booked a trip to Singapore with one of my best friends. I am planning on going to Cebu before Christmas.

I do not know whether it’s just part of my quarter life crisis, or I really am just a born wanderer (in spite of my abominable sense of direction). Either way, it looks like I will be traveling a lot after this. I am not by any means rich; every trip I will make will be on a very tight budget. The Wanderlust series will be my means of recording my experiences.

Wish me well. 🙂

Come away with me.
Photo credit:


We write our story on water.

Nary a photo to immortalize any moment. No souvenirs to mark the milestones.

No traces. No prints. Nothing to burn, or discard or donate when all this mess is over. No ashes to clean up. The world shall turn still, business as usual. When it ends, it’s as if it was all in my head. Just memories of a distant past life, so hazy it seems like it was all imagined.

Just a story for the books, an idea to fuel poetry and art. Just fiction. When it ends, its like it never happened.


It did.