I am fearless. But that’s not true. It’s not that I’m scared of spiders or cockroaches. It’s more than that.

I think we all know that we are in a middle of a war. The casualties from this COVID-19 pandemic continues to rise and it is devastating. More devastating are the news that healthcare frontliners are becoming casualties themselves. The news of doctors – from China, Italy, France, Indonesia, Philippines and more – dying from getting infected with the novel corona virus from patients they are trying to save, sends shivers to my spine.

I know there are risks from my chosen profession. From being overworked and being sleep deprived to being cursed by patients and being sued, that goes with the territory of our duties. I can live with that. But to risk your own life from contracting a possible deadly disease and even worse, to endanger your own family from passing on the illness at home makes me afraid. Very afraid.

For those people who are not taking this pandemic seriously and continues to party or not follow the recommended social distancing and community quarantine, or for those who think they are strong and invincible, please think again. If it’s not you who would be severely affected, it may be someone that you love that could suffer, because of your foolish actions.

Today, I came face to face with only my mask in between, with this deadly disease in our ICU. As I place an endotracheal tube to the patient’s passageways to hook her to a ventilator, I can only pray that my personal protective gear will be enough shield from this invisible enemy. Though I pray even more that heaven’s hand will be my shield.

I know this is only the beginning of my daily battle and confrontation with this foe. And it is expected that the worse is yet to come.

Fearless or not, I swore an oath to do this job. So help me God.

(*photo taken at Jardin du Palais Royal)

Spider on the Wall


A few nights ago, my son called me back in his room after I read him his bedtime story. When I entered his room, he was standing beside his bed, and he pointed to something at the corner of his wall. A spider.

Only after I corralled and took care of the spider, did he finally settled in his bed and turned off his light to sleep.

It was not a tarantula, nor a black widow, nor a brown recluse spider. It was an itsy-bitsy house spider. Would you say my son’s fear was irrational? But that’s true of most of our childhood fears: sleeping alone in our room, going in the dark (maybe some adults have not overcome this yet!), hearing the deafening sounds of the cricket, flying cockroaches (which up to now I dread), or clowns (yes, many people are creeped up by clowns). However, the mere embrace of our parents, will dissolve those fears away.

Last year when my son was just learning to ride a bike without the training wheels, I knew he already can balance alone but he would not let me release my grasp on his bike seat. Perhaps just the knowledge that my hand is holding his bike, made him feel secure. Eventually, I let go, and he did just fine, at least for a moment. Few minutes later, he came in running to us crying after he tumbled and fell. His mother kissed the sore spot, and like magic, the pain was gone. He was on his bike again moments later.

There’s so many occasions that my kids will come to me, clutching a broken toy and asking me to fix them. I am not a handyman, but a roll of duct tape make wonders. Duct tapes can fix a lot of things, including the iPhone 4 antennae problem. Sorry, I digress.

What I am saying is, our kids come to us, parents, for almost anything that they believe we can fix: a difficult homework assignment, a stuck zipper, a skinned knee, a dead goldfish and some other odd things you can just imagine. And we will make it all better for them. So they think.

I know that there will come a time that my children will have fears that I cannot  melt with a kiss or an embrace. I also know that there will be something in their lives that I cannot fix with a duct tape or a band aid. I know. That is my spider on the wall.