Seriously

From out of the blue, I received a greeting recently from a classmate in pre-med and in medical school whom I have not heard from for a long time. In fact I am receiving many thoughts and prayers from friends and family lately knowing that I am a frontliner in this war against COVID-19 especially in the ICU.

I wondered what prompted my classmate, but I was both surprised and touched that she remembered me and also my birthday. After hearing from her, I was reminded of our class party during our senior year in undergrad which was held in their upscale home in the Philippines.

In that party we had a game that was patterned to the old game show “Make Me Laugh.” The idea was that the “contestants” would try not to laugh as “comedians” do their best to make them laugh.

Being one of the jokesters during my college days, I was one of them who would attempt to make people laugh. There were 3 classmates of ours as “contestants,” and there were 3 of us “comedians.” If the first comedian was unable to make the contestant laugh, then the 2nd and the 3rd would give it a try. The contestant who would not crack a smile or laugh wins.

I was the first comedian.

I was a lanky kid in college, weighing 115 lbs in a 5’8” frame body. I look like Fido Dido. My gig was I borrowed an over-sized leather jacket (yes, there were leather jackets in Manila) from one of my burly classmates, and I filled the sleeves and the chest area with socks so I looked muscular. I also borrowed a heavy duty power twister bar from a classmate to show that I am trying to flex my arms. In other words, I am like the Filipino actor “Palito” impersonating Arnold Schwarzenegger.

On the first contestant, after I came out of the room and started walking to the contestant, she already burst into laughter as well as the whole class. I did not have to do much. Needless to say the 2nd and the 3rd jokesters did not even need to come out.

On the second contestant, I saw that she was trying so hard to keep it composed when I came out. But when I walked towards her and came face to face with her, she was red and to the point of bursting. After I tried to flex my muscles by bending the power twister (in which I really struggled), she finally lost it and broke into a laugh. Again the 2nd and the 3rd comedians did not have to do a thing.

On the 3rd contestant, I could sense that I would have difficulty making her laugh. She had this calm demeanor that was unperturbed by my nonsensical act. And while the whole class was already rolling in their bellies laughing, she just looked at me with a half-a-smile like that of Mona Lisa. After a minute of trying, I failed to make her laugh. I was a failure!

By the way, the second and the third jokesters did not succeed as well.

At the conclusion of the game, some classmates got hold of me, dragged me, and dumped me in the swimming pool. I had my full street clothes and shoes on! I was just the first one that was thrown into the pool though as what followed next was a pandemonium with many of the class being shoved into the pool. And we were not even drunk as there was no alcoholic drinks involved.

It was not supposed to be a swimming party. Perhaps they blame it on me, for not able to make that particular classmate laugh, that ended up into a pool-dumping frenzy.

On the side note, I know many of my classmates live in exclusive gated communities and have their own swimming pools. However, I pride myself that we have a bigger pool at our house in Sampaloc Manila, that is the whole street turns into a large swimming pool after a heavy downpour.

I admit, I was goofy when I was young, and perhaps I am still today though I may have mellowed. Maybe I just don’t take myself seriously. However at that time I wonder, were they laughing with me or were they laughing at me? It’s just funny that the kid who they probably would not take seriously before is now seriously taking care of people who are ill and in serious condition.

Life has a weird sense of humor.

(*photo taken a few years back at Petra Jordan)

Tatlong Kahilingan

Isang sawimpalad na binata ang nakatayo sa breakwater ng Maynila. Dahil lagi na lang siyang basted sa lahat ng kaniyang niligawang babae, kaya’t handa na itong tumalon sa maruming tubig ng Manila Bay at magpakalunod na lamang.

Ngunit bago ito magpakalunod ay mayroon siyang nakitang isang kakaibang bote na lumulutang-lutang sa tabi ng dagat. Kanyang pinulot ang bote at binuksan…..

GirlintheBottleFromtheSea

Poof!

Isang genie mula sa bote ang biglang lumitaw sa kanyang harapan!

“Maraming salamat kaibigan, at ako’y iyong pinalaya,” bati ng genie. “Bilang ganti, ay bibigyan kita ng tatlong kahilingan. Aking ipagkakaloob anuman ang iyong hilingin,” sabi pa ng genie.

Napaisip ang binata. Hmmm.

“Gusto kong maging mayaman,” ang naging unang hiling ng lalaki.

Poof!

Biglang nagkaroon ng Rolex na relo ang kanyang braso. Kinapa niya ang kanyang bulsa, at kanyang hinugot ang isang bagong Salvatore Ferragamo na wallet na busog na busog sa tig-iisang libong piso na pera.

Napalingon ang binata, at kanyang nakita ang isang kotse – isang pulang Porsche na nakaparada sa tabi ng breakwater na may vanity plate na “PEDRO,” na siyang pangalan ng binata.

Tuwang-tuwa ang kolokoy. Muli itong nag-isip.

“Gusto kong magkaroon ng magandang girlfriend,” ang naging pangalawang kahilingan ng binata.

Poof!

Nagkaroon ng mala-binibining Pilipinas na isang dalaga sa loob ng Porsche ni Pedro. Kumaway ito sa kanya. Nagpa-bebe wave naman ang binata sa magandang dilag at hanggang tenga ang ngiti ng kumag.

Muling napa-isip ang binata para sa kanyang pangatlong kahilingan. Ano kaya ang kanyang magiging huling hiling?

Naisip niya ang mga gwapong artista na tulad nila Dingdong Dantes at Alden Richards na pinagkakaguluhan ng mga kababaihan.

“Gusto ko kapag ako’y dumadaan, ako’y tinitilian ng mga kababaihan,” ang naging pangatlong hiling ng binata sa genie ng bote.

Poof!

At si Pedro ay naging isang gwapitong…….ipis!

*******

(*photo from the web)

(**Ang istoryang ito ay orihinal na kathang-isip ng isang utak na kulang sa tulog. Sige matutulog po muna ako.)

 

 

 

Hugot Lines

Dahil tapos na po ang eleksiyon, tawanan na lang natin ang ating mga problema. Ipagpaumanhin na lang po ninyo ang aking kahibangan.

1. Eleksiyon ka ba?

Kasi dinadaya mo ang puso ko.

2. Suweldo ka ba?

Kasi lagi akong nasasabik sa iyo, ngunit lagi ring bitin sa iyo.

3. Utang  ka ba?

Dahil pinipilit na kitang kalimutan.

4. Hatsing ka ba?

Dahil hindi ko maitago ang damdamin ko sa iyo. (Natitigilan at napapapikit pa pag andiyan ka na.)

5. Puwing ka ba?

Kasi pinapaluha mo ako.

6. Konsumisyon ka ba?

Kasi lagi kang laman ng isip ko.

7. Board exam ka ba?

Dahil hindi ako makapasa-pasa sa iyo.

8. Libag ka ba?

Dahil hindi kita maialis sa sarili ko.

9. Hingal ka ba?

Kasi lagi akong naghahabol sa iyo.

10. Utot ka ba?

Kasi hindi kita mapakawalan.

(*All hugot lines are original, but feel free to share away.)

Kasabihang Pilosopo Tasyo

 

Lintek-Lang-ang-Walang-Gant

Maraming mga kasabihan at mga payo ang atin nang narinig. Tunay na may karunungan at katotohanan ang mga ito.

Ngunit kanino ba nanggaling ang mga payong ito?  (Mawalang galang na nga lang po sa ating matatanda at kay Pilosopo Tasyo.)

“Kung may sinuksok, may madudukot.” …….mandurukot

“Kaibigan alam mo ba kung saan ka patutungo?” …….kunduktor ng bus

“Ang oras ay ginto.” …….salesperson ng Rolex

“Better to give than to receive.” …….buksingero

“Hindi lahat ng kumikinang ay ginto.” …….ahente ng Tambunting

“Someones trash is another man’s treasure.” …….magbobote dyaryo

“Ako ang nagsaing, ngunit iba ang kumain.” …….pet owner  (Pesteng pusa yan!)

“Kung walang tiyaga, walang nilaga.” ……..tindero ng nilangang mani

“Papunta ka pa lang, pabalik na ako.” …….night shift worker

“Lahat ay may hangganan, lahat may boundary.” ……..jeepney operator

“Health is wealth.” …….may-ari ng ospital

“Kung hindi ukol, hindi bubukol.” …….drug rep ng Viagra

 

(*image from the internet)

Luneta Revisited

Hindi na siguro kaila sa marami sa inyo, na maraming taon ng aking pagkabata ang aking iginugol sa Luneta. Sa katunayan isa sa mga mabentang akda sa blog na ito ay ang “Alaala ng Luneta.”

Malaki na rin ang pinagbago ng lugar na ito mula nang ako’y lumisan ng bansa, mahagit dalawang dekada na ang nakalipas.

Ngunit muli akong nagulat sa progresong aking nakita nang huli akong magbalikbayan. Talaga namang matayog na ang monumento ni Rizal. Mas mataas na ito kesa George Washington Monument ng Amerika. Niluma rin nito ang Eiffel Tower ng Paris. Wala nang panama ang mga iba pang monumento ng ibang bansa.

Bakit ba hindi natin naisip ito noon?

At kung hindi pa po ninyo nakikita ang bagong monumento ni Rizal, heto na po ito ngayon.

Torredemanila

(*image from the internet)

(**ang akdang ito ay bunga ng bangag kong pag-iisip sanhi ng matinding jet-lag.)

Strange Language

A foreigner arrived in the Philippines and was observing how the locals talk.

After she checked-in in her hotel room, she planned to go outside, so she headed to the elevator. While waiting, a mother and her toddler son were also waiting for the elevator.

The toddler tugged on his mother and said:

Child: Dede!

Mother: Dedede?

Child: Dede.

Then the mother handed his son the milk bottle.

When the elevator door opened the mother asked the lady inside the elevator?

Mother: Bababa ba?

Lady: Bababa.

So the mother and her child hopped inside the elevator. The foreigner hopped in too.

After a couple of floors down, the elevator stopped and the doors opened. A man outside asked:

Man: Bababa ba?

Bababa.” The two ladies inside chimed.

What a fascinating language theses locals speak, the foreigner thought to herself. How can they understand each other with just repeating one syllable?

As the elevator doors closed, the toddler tugged again on his mother and whispered:

Son: Pupupu po.

Mother: Pupupu?

Son: Pupu.

The elevator reached the ground floor, and as the elevator doors opened the foreigner tried to break the ice with the locals. She said to them with an amusing smile:

Foreigner: Dadadada.

The locals looked at her baffled? Of course they did not understand her. They just shook their heads and under their breath they uttered: Gaga.

(*Dedicated to all who speak this strange language. Para sa Buwan ng Wika.)

 

Are Resident Doctors Really Doctors?

No, they are not.

According to a recent article (read here) that appeared in Mindanao Times, here are the new essential qualifications for a real doctor.

1. Wears a uniform. Preferably white, and in impeccable condition. One that does not get hot nor dirty even when you’re rushing and answering to all calls, especially in the Emergency Room.

2. Speaks English. It does not matter whether you’re in Manila, or Ilocos, or Cebu, or anywhere in the Philippines (or world) for that matter. It does not matter if the patient you’re attending to speaks Tagalog, or Ilocano, or Ilonggo. You must talk to them in English. That’s how you discern one from an impostor.

3. Knows the “problem” of the patient, even if the patient does not tell them anything about what ills them. They must master the art of foretelling the disease, even without taking history and doing physical exam. In other words, can read crystal balls. Nurses should possess this power too.

4. Must be courteous at all times. Never rude. Even when faced with arrogant yet idiotic patients. If you’re not courteous, that means you are a fake doctor.

5. Must see a demanding patient, right away. Now na! It does not matter if you’re attending to a sicker patient. It does not matter if you’re running a code or doing the CPR itself, or assisting in surgery, or doing a procedure. Your doctor’s license expires within an hour of not seeing the patient.

The following standard eligibility on becoming a real doctor are not needed anymore:

1. Four years of undergraduate degree. Forget it!

2. Another four years of medical (graduate) school. Forget it!

3. One year of post-graduate internship. Forget it!

4. Pass the Philippine (or other country’s) Medical Board Exam. Forget it!

5.  Lastly, no need to do three to seven years (depending on specialty) of Residency after passing the board exam. Remember when you’re a “Resident” doctor, you are a fake doctor.

*******

(This post is in response to an article with the same title, that was published 7/20/15, in the Opinion section of Mindanao Times, written by Fely V. Sicam)

Kilig at Sayaw

Kay sarap gumising nang may kasama,

Hindi tulad noong ako’y nag-iisa,

Ngunit ‘di inakalang magkakaganito,

Mundo’y bumalikwas nang dahil sa ‘yo.

 

Umagang-umaga’y ‘di mapakali,

Ako’y kinikilig at nakikiliti,

Pilit pinipigil damdaming umaapaw,

Dahil nariyan ka’y napapasayaw.

 

Matagal ka pa ba, o aking mahal?

Mataimtim akong sa ‘yo’y naghihintay,

Sana ay pagbigyan, dahil ‘di ko na kaya,

Pakiusap lang naman, ako’y sasabog na!

 

Hoy! bilisan mo diyan sa banyo!

Ihing-ihi na ako!

(Ang tulang ito ay handog sa lahat ng napapasayaw sa makapigil-ihing pagmamahal.)

 

 

 

 

Foul Mouth

I would like to start this post with this presupposition: It is not our fault.

As a nation, we Filipinos pride ourselves that we are an English-speaking people. Or at least we think we are. Even though English is not our primary language.

But I know when we speak, we Filipinos are misunderstood sometimes. Alright, many times. And we have even been mocked for our English diction. But hear us out first.

In our mother tongue, we enunciate our vowels in only one way. Like e is always eh, and no other way it is pronounced. We don’t differentiate into short e, or long e, or short i.

Though some regions in the Philippines tend to interchange the pronunciation of e and i, but that’s another subject of its own.

Of course there are other quirky mistakes that we Filipinos are prone to make when we talk in English, like interchanging he and she, or his and her. Sorry if we confuse you, and you wonder if the person we are talking about suddenly got a sex transplant. But this is due to the fact that in our language our pronoun has no gender. It is the same for male or female.

Regarding our queer pronunciation, not too long ago, a friend of ours told us that when she first arrived here in the US, while they were driving in the midst of hundreds of acres of Iowa farm lands, she commented:

“I did not know that there are sheep here.”

She got a funny look and was told, “Honey, we are in a land lot. The ocean is thousands of miles away. We don’t have ships here.”

Learning to distinctively pronounce between a short i and a long e as ee when we speak in English is something we need to familiarize with. There’s nothing akin to this in our native language.

Consider this example:

What we said: There are lots of beautiful beaches in the Philippines.

What they heard: There are lots of beautiful bitches in the Philippines.

Can you imagine the glaring stares we got and the misconceptions we caused, stating a fact that we are proud of. Or so we thought.

Back to our friend here in Iowa, one day while at home, shortly from her arrival from the Philippines, she asked, “Where can I find clean (bed) sheet.”

To this she was told that there was no such thing. That’s not clean at all!

They must have thought she has a foul mouth or just plain crazy. By now, you must have deduced what they thought they heard.

Holy clean sh*t!