Monday, December 29, 2008


I know someone who experiences this weird condition---he suddenly feels dizzy; unconsciously drops himself anywhere while his stiff body forcefully shakes for around five minutes; he becomes conscious again and finally he would throw up. After few hours, he feels okay as if nothing's happened. This bothers him at least every three months and that's the reason we call him "D Transformer." or DT for short. Believe it or not, last Friday he was attacked again after he enjoyed watching on DVD the contemporary movie of his life--- TRANSFORMER (hey, the real one). Adding insult to injury, the next day, his brother bought him a new cellphone with camera so he will get to see how it is when he "transforms".

When I got the chance to talk to him, he recalled this "phenomenon" started to haunt him after his uncle hit his head with a hard object-- probably 5 years ago. He didn't really mind about it rather he continues to live a normal life- and guess what, DT luckily got married last year so his wife also serves as his personal body guard, first aider and a bread winner.

Financially, being on a medication, he really needs help. He has a symptom called "seizure". Although he isn't epilyptic, still he needs to consult a neurologist to find out the illness associated with his symptoms. I don't understand medical terms but DT patiently explained that this happens when the brain lacks oxygen- so he needs to eat fruits rich in potassium like avocado and banana; maintain a balanced diet; and that he should not skip meals nor eat too much because it would trigger him to "transform". I know he really listened to pertinent advise from his doctor but the only thing that he clearly remembers is this--- $$$---. Furious of his health condition, DT plans to confront his uncle and hunt him down until he would promise to support his medical expenses.

I intended to tell this story real cool but seriously for DT and his wife, it's like they were cursed. I realized this couple needs direction so now my ultimate role is to help DT and his wife talk to a neurologist, find financial support for his medication and most of all I earnestly pray that they overcome the challenges as they both start to build their own family.

PS: DT needs some rest so it would take quiet a while before he can watch again the succeeding TRANSFORMER movies.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Miracle Tree

Twelve years ago, in college, I had a near-death experience. From the girl's dormitory, a friend cried out in excruciating pain. Terrified, my fellows and I frantically got dressed, called the school driver and decided to rush her to the hospital.

It was past midnight--the van was running steadily in a one-way-zigzag-road at the foot of the mountains, when some of us started to doze off. Half-asleep, I started to imagine how the surroundings looked like as we were passing by. Being familiar with the terrain, there was only one word to describe it --MAJESTIC. To the left side of the road was like a landscape of bushes descending towards the valley. Vegetation of all sorts can be seen, from wild grass, bushes, shrubs to the prominent and abundant banana trees.

Amidst the beauty and serenity of it all, there was one thing that made this place fearful--along the road runs a deep and deadly crevasse that extends the mountain's foothills.

I was awaken by my friend's whimpering, she was in tears because she couldn't handle the pain. Without warning, we didn't know that the driver dozed off and in one quick instant, the van was running through the bushes like a roller-coaster. As the van skid off the road, things got worse, the van tumbled into the crevasse. Holding on to dear life, we were crying and screaming like there was no tomorrow---I was only praying that we survive.

Then BOOM! Silence followed and then a sudden loud cry for help. I was seated at the opposite back side of the driver but apparently every one was on top of me. I couldn't move nor utter a word. My ribs were broken. Our world turned up-side-down we realized our fall was broken by the old huge Gmelina tree (Gmelina arborea). The driver was trapped in the front seat and the bumper of the van almost buried in roots of the tree.

I was so thankful to God for that tree, it was there for a reason, it was there to save us. We could have fallen down the cliff and died on the spot without that tree of life.

In was only a matter of time when help arrived. We were all badly injured so we had to be rushed to the hospital and ironically, got reprimanded by the College Dean. It took two months for me to recover from that ordeal, but the scar of the trauma lasts a lifetime.

Whenever I pass by the same place, I utter to myself, "Get me out of here!" But, I will always remember THE TREE.

Monday, December 22, 2008

WWW (Who Wins in War) ?

"If you were a man, will you be a soldier?" A friend once asked me this hypothetical question. Instead of answering him, two historical events flashed back in my mind - WWI and WWII.

We may have been overwhelmed by "Pearl Harbor, Hamburger Hill, We Were Soldiers " but these are only a few of true-to-life movies where we see the agony of the Prisoners of War (POW); where we feel the hardship and sacrifices of military men in combat; witness facets of betrayal, ingenious strategy to attack and the strong determination to WIN. Here in the Philippines, the movie "MISTA" which means "the warriors" is a local version of war depicting sufferings and deaths as a result of insurgency, rebellion and conflict between government and the leftists. But who wins the battle? NOBODY.

The most prestigious discipline a man can have is with the military training. This is where he loses his pride as a civilian and accepts his duty to protect his country and countrymen. One sacred principle in troops is to follow the superior's order- "Obey first before you complain". This noble ideology has brought about countless deaths and failure in military mission.

I salute all the Military Men who have risked their lives and sacrificed their personal happiness. My hats off to those who died in the battle ground whose voices cried out loud to say goodbye to their loved ones but were never given another chance.... never.
If I were a man, will I be a soldier? I don't wanna die in a battlefield. Gosh. Thanks God for making me a lovely sensible woman.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tidbits on Filipino Culture

Using the word "Po" in a conversation is a unique way of showing respect and saying "Opo" is a polite response that means "yes".

Hospitality runs through our veins. In the Philippines, it's okay to surprise-visit a family or friend. We offer anything to make them feel comfortable. In urban areas, the host usually prepares special delicacy or refreshment to welcome the visitor. We even offer our own room and prefer to sleep in the kitchen or sala if the guest would tend to stay overnight or for an extended period of time.

Gossip is not healthy but Filipinos just love to talk about anything not only through face to face conversation or in the market but also through email, tabloids and text messages. On a positive note, open and frequent communication is the reason we have close family ties and intimate friendships. We just love to share ourselves and care about what's going on with each other's life.

"Mano Po" is a gesture of respect wherein you have to bow slightly to an elderly then take his right hand towards your forehead (this means- God bless you or something to that effect). In modern times, only a few still put this into practice.

We usually call our older siblings, neighbors, friends, relatives or even a stranger as "kuya or manong" (means big brother) or "ate or manang" (means older sister). It would be impolite to address them by their first name.

Funny but true, we can use lips to point on something. This is widely acceptable but ethics has gradually taught new generation.

You're a Filipino if you turn your head to someone who calls your attention with "Psst! Psst!".

To a foreigner, a stranger who looks professional , someone who dressed like an elite member of a society, or a customer who may be younger or older than us, we show respect by calling them Ma'am or Sir.

Scary... if there is Dracula in America, here in the Phils we have witch who can transform into a big cat, bird or anything. hmmm interesting....