Sublimity. Absurdity. Reality.

there is order amidst all this chaos. you just have to know where to look.

Lifetime Warranty

“Pakitago na lang po yung resibo, pero one year po yung lifetime warranty nyan”

— A watch repair guy’s assistant talking to a customer who just had his watch fixed

Deaf, Blind or Both?

“May perforation nga yung eardrum niya kaya partially blind sya”

— The flawless logic a guy trying to explain to his sister why the protagonist in the movie could not see very well

Agents of Change

The wall clock says the current time is 7:37 in the morning. The sun was shining brightly outside, betraying the stormy weather just yesterday. Aside from that, had this been another typical Sunday morning it would mean that I still had about 3 hours before my 24 tour of duty at the hospital was over. But just as I finished seeing a patient someone came into the Emergency Room looking for me. This wasn’t going to be just another Sunday morning. A few days before, I received a phone call asking if I could help some kids with their medical mission. All they need is the supervision of a licensed physician my fellow resident assured me. Her guesstimate was that it would all be over by around lunch time. Anyway, I brought my blazer and stethoscope just in case and we were off to a barrio on the outskirts of the city they tell me. No problem I think to myself. I spent most of my childhood years growing up in a barrio setting where carabaos freely roamed the streets in a then 3rd class municipality. I was already in med school by the time the main road connecting us to the next town was completely paved and concreted. A good friend of mine used to tell me that whenever he went to our place to visit, he wish he had a 4×4 with him so that he could claim that he went off road. I could only imagine what he’d say had he been with me today. After traversing another town and some long winding roads we came across a bridge of sorts. It was a single lane of elevated earth. Of course one could always take the lower road less traveled, but then again we would probably have needed an all terrain vehicle with us.

When we finally reached our destination I was immediately welcomed by a group of very enthusiastic and cheerful set of young individuals with the brightest of smiles. They were genuinely friendly and accommodating even if they were busy preparing the materials that we would be using that day. After consuming the breakfast they prepared we called in the first victim, err, patient in. I demonstrated how the procedure (circumcision) was done. Thankfully the patient was cooperative and everything turned out the way it was supposed to be, otherwise I probably would have made a bigger fool of myself. On to patient number two. After that they paired up and each took in a patient on the makeshift operating tables that on any other day also serve as the teacher’s table. The level of skill that they showed considering that it was their first time to do such things. It also didn’t hurt that the patients were cooperative as well. And while we were conducting several simultaneous minor surgeries, another room the residents were also having dental check-ups and tooth extractions.

Halfway done we took a short break to have lunch. It was here that I learned that the group behind the medical dental mission was actually a group of friends who wanted to make a difference in their own way. They call themselves the Workers of St. Joseph. Even for an already established organization it’s never a small feat to organize a medical mission, I should know it’s actually part of my job at work, so it’s really amazing how they managed to pull it out armed with nothing more than funding from their parents and own pockets and sheer determination, come rain or shine.

It was tiring and I’m sure to feel the cramps in the morning, but for now I couldn’t help but smile. Just when I thought the world is full of nothing more but cynical individuals who couldn’t care less, I get the experience this rare opportunity to meet these people who offered a glimmer of hope in an otherwise bleak future. So to Yet, Sasha and the rest of the group, I give my heartfelt congratulations and thank you for the opportunity to make a difference.

Heroes No More

I was just about to go home from another 48 hour tour of duty when I chanced upon the following posted at the corner of one of the nurse stations. It struck a chord in me somewhere but I don’t know where it was quoted and who the author is but I do hope he doesn’t mind me reposting it here. 

“They say there are no more heroes any more. But they’re there. Walk down any street and you will find them. The mothers who work, the fathers who strive, the children who overcome. They aren’t larger than life, but they are larger than their own lives. Their names aren’t famous. But their virtues are. Hard work. Common sense. An unshakeable belief in themselves. If you’re looking for a hero, look around.”

Amenities

“Cable TV + In Hose Movies”

— part of the advertised amenities posted on the billboard of a soon to be opened hotel

Just Asking

“I’m not a virgin anymore if that’s what you’re asking”

 

– a patient’s response when I routinely asked her of her marital status as part of my medical history taking

Hiatus

To the people who have wondered whatever happened to the guy who keeps posting sublimely absurd (or absurdly sublime?) stuff here, well he just had a streak of bad luck with his gizmos for one. Firstly my flash drive just went kaput one day so I had no way of carrying and updating my recent files even if I had access to a PC, secondly I had been a little busy with my hospital duties (more on a later blog entry) that I find it hard to find the time to sit down and blog. Lastly, and most importantly, my trusty laptop died on me a few days after my flash drive went kaput. I’m still in the process of trying to revive it and salvage at least my collection of mp3’s, since they are the only files I have that don’t fit on one DVD disc. Anyway, thanks to a previous near death experience, I already archived most of my stuff save for the most recent changes on my journal entries. Anyway, I hope to revive my laptop soon and start posting again, but this will have to do for now.

A Cup of Bitter Coffee

I had planned of going to the awards night of the Most Outstanding Kapampangan Awards in attire meant for a high school JS Prom in a very typical powder blue long sleeved shirt, khaki pants and brown leather shoes. Thankfully, I have friends in higher places who just happens to have a set of barongs as part of his wardrobe. So, instead of my sales rep look I had donned instead a dignified dark brown barong and did not stick out like a sore thumb among the crowd.

The awards night was uneventful, save for the acceptance speech of my overachieving friend which hits right home.

Several souvenir photos later, we headed off to have coffee where people meet to flaunt their ability to buy ridiculously overpriced coffee. No complaints for me though, my coffee tonight is free of charge.

Highlights of the night included what had to be one of the most awkward moments at this phase of my existence and how difficult it could be to be civil about it.

And the hardest part was that all the while I worried about someone else who was having troubles of her own. And just as I told my friend on his way home, it was a night punctuated with ironies and conflicting emotions.

Making Time

Having learned my mistake the last time I asked her out, I carefully planned my day to include at least 2 hours leeway between the time I got to Manila and the time we agreed to meet. We were supposed to meet at 1 PM so I was already there by 11 AM. As I walked around this too familiar place I frequented and constituted part of the neighborhood for about four years. There have been some changes although nothing major or life changing.

As the hour of our meeting approached, I ventured out of the building to get a better reception for my now almost obsolete phone. “I’ll be late” she told me. Take your time I thought to myself, I could probably wait forever if I needed to.

We had lunch. We walked around until there were no more stairs to climb up and down to so we decided to take the train and go to the mall where we watched a movie and enjoyed each other’s company.

As always is the case, the hardest part of seeing her again was when it was time to see her go and the uncertainty of when we might be able to see each other again..

Defiant

It was a well laid plan, if only it worked out the way I planned it.

Of all the days that Trillanes had to do another Oakwood incident it had to be today. It’s not enough that I was an hour late because I had to pick up the flowers from somewhere out of the way, but an impending coup attempt? Not even that will ruin this day for me.

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"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." ~ Ray Bradbury. I tend to agree with Mr. Bradbury, although my writings steer clear from dystopia, I am a fan of Batman and the young Bruce Wayne … throughout this blog (if you stay long enough) you’ll come to understand what this mortal thinks of the world around her ... maybe you'll even agree.

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Learning and teaching the art of composition.

A Slice of Life

Taking life one slice at a time with Cindy Knapper