Friday, February 9, 2007

Killer Candle and the Stupid Nurse

SHE WAS PRAYING on her usual hours of meditation and silence with God inside her room. She stepped outside and casually spoke with one of her daughters, who practically been living beside her house after all her other sons and daughters setup their own homes a few meters away to the amianan or bagatan, while others have fled to other far away places where they brought up their own families. Suddenly she remembered leaving the altar with the candle still lighting the room.

At a very old age of 86 and known to her kin as Mami Bakèt, she went back up stairs to whisk it off. Her daughter, Lumeng was unmindful of the what will be happening in the next few minutes and didn't bother to help her mother. Because she's been praying with a candle burning beside the altar since time immemorial. Minutes later, she was struggling to put out the fire from torching her that started with her blouse up to her old curly hair. Lumeng's youngest son JR quickly came to the rescue when she managed to got out of the house. It was all too late.

She had to absorb third degree burns that is pitiful to ones eyes. Her face suffered most with indescribable burns down to her upper body skin.

Immediately, they took her to the nearest hospital somewhere in Guimba in Nueva Ecija, and was confined there for several days. The absence of adequate hospital resources and technologically advance equipment has made the situation worst. The wounds were not healing.

The elders decided to transfer Mami Bakèt to PGH with full of hope that she will recover from the inevitable demise. However, her body began to succumb to the suffering. Eventually, she went to a state of coma that dwindled all hopes and fears of all the persons that have love her dearly, down to her last apo sa talampakan.

She died a few hours after because of the in-charge nurse's inability to monitor the instruments that's been keeping her alive. That's why, I can't imagine what would happen if all our good nurses in this country have fled to the US or to some other place that will provide them with a good paying job. It was explained that the food (it was milk) being injected to her has penetrated the lungs, thus, causing her misfortune on the same day she was born.

The last drop of hope has finally evaporated and tears began to fall.

This is the story of how Mami Baket died, my grandmother on the father side, who was still strong and kicking despite her age. Unfortunately, she took a tragic way of saying goodbye.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Endless Discontent

PEOPLE ALWAYS HAVE a bad word about the weather.

They always complain about the climate's inconsistencies, probably since the day they were born. I'm pretty sure infants would cry out loud when they couldn't stand the heat, or cold, manifesting their discomfort. From sun-up until darkness roam, from first day up to the 365th of the calendar, people have always said something in a form of recommendations and even curses, as to why the weather is so atrociously hot, and why it is so blistering cold. If ever these complaints are put together on paper and piled in one location, we would have warehouses constructed that could fit the entire Laguna Technopark, multiplied by three.

Last night, and several evenings before, I thought I was somewhere in between Sagada, Mountain Province and Baguio City. It was like someone has turned on a gigantic air conditioning unit in a usually hot trodden place. The wind was whistling as if it just came out of the freezer, and it was whistling hard, it chills even the most hidden and obscure part of your body.

One of my close associates has been openly vocal against the sudden drop in the temperature that lurks the entire Laguna atmosphere and most probably, the entire Luzon. She was whimpering about her right arm's muscle pain and accused the weather as the culprit behind her agony. Another was wailing upon hearing a news story on boob tube apropos of the hollywood celebrities' move to heighten global warming and bring about consciousness and alarm to everyone. It was quite ironic of a news story relating global warming delivered on a time when all the busy streets has suddenly turned empty because people were hiding behind the comfort of their shelters to avoid the biting cold.

Brad Pitt has never been this correct, or Nicole Kidman, George Clooney and the rest of the Tinseltown's. The cold temperature grappling the city is accurately associated with Earth's inevitable becoming of an oven. The icebergs in the regions where they massively exist are gradually melting, effecting the cold stream of winds in the tropics such as the Philippines. In the summer, when the sun is at its peak, it will ultimately bring shrieks to skin burns and rise in the sales of SPF 60 or 100 sun-screen lotion.

If we don't act now, we might not witness the era of Star Wars vision because we were returned back to ice age of The Day After Tomorrow. Sea level rises because the icebergs are melting, and if it will not stop, I guess Mount Everest will only be the piece of land remaining visible. I can't imagine how to put the more than 6.5 billion people there!

What we can probably do in our own perspective is stop smoking. Instead of driving your own car (err, I don't have my own car) use the public transport. If we all ride on the jeeps and buses, we will simultaneously save on gas and contribute to the deduction of CO2 emission, the number 1 rascal of ozone layer depletion. Save every bit of electricity in the house, turn off that light in the rest room, please! Save everything! Use paper bags instead of plastic. And you may also plant a tree today, it will add oxygen to the air.

Don't fret if the cold bites you, at least you are rid of the sight of a shirtless unemployed neighbor.