Naalala kita, Nanay po.

Sa lahat ng recognition day ko na hindi ka nakalimot umattend at umiyak habang nakaupo sa likod ng simbahan ng St. Isidore;
Sa lahat ng misa na isinama mo ako dahil kailangan ko magpapirma ng mass card bilang requirement sa Religion;
Sa lahat ng butsi na tig-bente pesos na binili natin sa palengke pagkadaan sa pwesto ng Nanay Upeng;
Sa lahat ng sinaing na tambakol at hiwas na sinabawan natin ng kapeng barako at inalmusal sa komidor;
Sa lahat ng tanghalian at hapunan na hindi kayo nakalimot magsabay at magyaya ng Mamay po;
Sa lahat ng oras na hinayaan mo akong tulungan ka maligo gamit ang sabon mong Palmolive pink;
Sa lahat ng pagkakataong sinugo mo akong bumili ng mga basag na itlog sa Ilaya gamit ang bisikleta ng Mamay Amboy (at hinahabol ako ng mga aso ng Nanay Tiyang);
Sa lahat ng gabing hinilingan mo akong hilutin ang binti at balakang mo gamit ang siko ko habang nanonood ng teleserye;
Sa lahat ng panahong hindi na tayo nakapagkwentuhan na gaya ng dati dahil naghiwalay na tayo ng tirahan.

At sa huling beses na nakauwi ako sa Batangas, inabutan kitang inaabangan ako sa may terrace.

Napagkwentuhan ka namin ni Ate Maricel ngayong araw. Sorry, wala ako nung panahong kailangan mo ako. Baka pinagbawalan din kita uminom ng Pepsi nung huling gabing may malay ka pa.

Pasensya na ho na ngayon lang ako ulit nakaalala. Miss ko na ho kayo.

Inebriated

My love, one day you might wonder.

What do I see when I look at you.

You are no fortress; you are the green grass.

The soil under my bare feet has never felt any safer.

The sun shines and scorches, and I don’t care.

You are the blue sky for the whitest of clouds.

I glance above at the expanse that you are.

Vast, yes, but you don’t scare me.

A storm from afar might, or maybe not even that.

Sometimes I’m rattled, just a tad though.

When you are a youthful river

Your rapids can drown me within seconds.

And I can’t swim. But I long for you, always.

 

My love, I look at you and I feel more than I see.

You are my most vivid dream, full of hope, full of warmth, and I pray, unending.

Tinola

Umuwi ang magulang ko sa Batangas 3 weeks ago. Humingi ako ng pasalubong — native na manok na pang-tinola. Kinilig naman ako nung bumalik sila na may dalang buhay na inahin. Sabihin ko lang daw kung kailan ko gusto ipaluto.

Bago ako pumasok para sa duty, nadaanan ko yung manok na nasa maliit na kulungan sa gilid ng bahay. Biniro ko si Mama…

“Ma, wag na wag mo papaalagaan kay Papa yung manok. Baka mapamahal sa kanya.”

“Hindi. Binili talaga niya yun para sa’yo.” Sagot niya.

Pag-uwi ko galing ospital (2 days later), natawa na lang ako sa nakita ko.

May kasama nang tandang (rooster) yung manok sa kulungan niya. Apparently, binilhan ni Papa ng boyfriend yung manok ko. Gumuho ang pangarap kong native na tinola.

Blush

Dalawang linggo tayong hindi nagkita.

Dalawang linggo tayong nagpalitan ng mga kwento habang magkalayong inuubos ang magdamag.

Dalawang linggo tayong nag-usap ng mga bagay na dati ay ni hindi nababanggit man lang.

Dalawang linggo. Magkalayo tayo, pero ito na ang pinakamalapit na ating narating.

Pagkatapos ng dalawang linggong iyon, muli kitang nasilayan. Sa pagsalubong ng paningin ko sa iyong mga mata, naramdaman kong gumuhit ang init sa aking mukha. Hindi ko matagalan ang iyong tingin. Pakiramdam ko ay nasisilayan mo akong walang saplot at bunyag ang damdamin.Ito ang bunga ng dalawang linggong naging bukas na aklat ang aking mga saloobin.

Lamang ay hindi ko batid kung ganun ka din. Sana.

Stuck

Gano kasakit sa ulo ang matagalang pagpapanggap? Alin man sa sinasabi mo, ni isa hindi mo matanggap. Sa dami ng inimbento mong reaksyon, hindi mo na alam kung alin ang mukhang tunay. Paanong tatayo mag-isa ang argumento mong wala namang kabuhay buhay?

Gaano kahirap ang tumalikod ngunit maya’t maya ay lumingon? Umayaw ka na pero bakit andiyan ka pa din hanggang ngayon? Ang tagal tagal bago mo natanggap ang sarili mong desisyon. Kung tutuusin, wala naman yatang nagbago mula noon.

Paano kang lalakad palayo kung maya’t maya ay inaakala mong may sumisitsit sa’yo? Sa kabila ng katahimikan, parang naririnig mo ang pangalan mo. Para bang may nakatingin kahit alam mo naman kung ano ang totoo. Gusto mong mabingi pero hindi mo alam kung paano.

Paanong lilipas ang araw na hindi pa naman dumadating? Paanong huhubadin ang di pa nasusuot na singsing? Anong isasauli mo kung wala namang ibinigay. Pano ka muling mabubuhay kung hindi ka pa tuluyang namamatay?

There, there.

We sat there for an hour, more or less, and boy, did she throw a multitude of questions. She’s on her 39th week of pregnancy, my multigravid cousin with a rapidly growing finger lump and an even more rapidly growing anxiety.

She asked away, and to the very best of my knowledge and recall, I explained what I know. I probably just unknowingly reiterated what her OB had already told her during her real “consult” but there she was, listening to my every word as if it’s the first time she’s heard what I was saying.

As I struggle to throw every normal value and physiologic response that I have learned from my Obstetrics I subject along with my ample knowledge on pathologic mass and growths, I saw how she tightened and lightened in response to my words and reactions. It was surreal.

“Thank you, Ate Maris,” she said at the end with a smile on her face and slowly walked away.

It’s March 1 today. A whole month of deadly deadlines and towering transcriptions awaits me but I couldn’t care any less.

That woman, with her massively swollen belly, is a spitting reminder of why I’m doing all these.

Super iksing kwento.

Habang nanonood ng The Mentalist, nakaramdam ako ng antok. Humigab ako at nag-inat. At sa hindi malamang dahilan, bigla akong natawa sa tuwa.

Ito na ata ang pinakamasayang antok na naramdaman ko sa buong buhay ko — yung klase na pwedeng pwede ko itulog right away.

Wooohoo!!! Bakasyon na nga! 😀

PS: Please don’t get me wrong, dear Lord. Dalawang buwang bakasyon lang po ang gusto ko. Very willing pa akong mabawasan. 🙂

Whatever happened to having multiple choices?

One classic sign of ineffective review is when I get to recall bits and pieces of what I had read the previous day but not well enough to bring them together into one cohesive concept.

I was half an hour early for the test schedule, just enough time to hear disturbing muscle names and articulations that I have read the night before. Jomel Santander, a classmate, mentioned AFA, and I – at the back of my mind –  immediately followed through with AFAQ Lung. It was good that I remembered my own mnemonics; the downside was that I could not even name what the letters were for. First thing in mind: “Don’t fret. Multiple choice. Babalik lahat yan pag nadaanan ng mata mo.” I badly wanted to check my transes and find that missing thought but Doktora Maiksi ang Buhok suddenly came in asking us to put all our things in the nearby table. She started out with, “Kapag sinabing 9 ang start ng test, kahit hindi pa kayo settled, tumatakbo na ang oras.” Afraid of losing the second precious thing next to our brains, we scrambled to the corner, hurriedly piled up our stuff, and settled to unassigned seats.

 Doc Es came in with the answer sheets. With his classic flat affect, he distributed the papers one by one. I feel the need to mention that it was a bit painful to watch for some reason. Half of our class, including myself, started with the laboratory exam. The rest begun with the lecture part. It was a long march from the Physio Lab to the Anatomy Lab. I was dragging each step down the stairs. I was too  anxious to even notice the familiar stench of formalin.

22 stations:  7 cadavers, 2 vacant seats, 6 stations with 2 bone structures each.  We had 45 seconds to identify – or should I say, guess – each pinned structure. Kuya Jun had an alarm clock of some sort which would signal when to move to the next station. I was jumpy; each krrrrrring sounded louder than the first. Each structure appeared more disorienting as we moved along. More than ten times, I wanted to throw my writing board against the wall, hoping it would help me spill out the answers that were stuck at the tip of my tongue. It was a nagging feeling. I had brushed through those muscles, nerves, and processes. Maybe I just didn’t mention them often enough or stared at them long enough during my review, but deep down at the back of my head, I once knew what they were. There was one item in particular that defined my entire day. It was a bone structure at the last station. It was a basic structure, a give away – a bonus point if I may use the term, and yet, there I was, remembering only the first letter, the accurate answer still a few neurons away.

“M… Mandibulum? No. Mandible? Never. M… M… Nag-aarticulate sa clavicle. Acromion? Hindi. Lateral side yun, sa medial side dapat, sa side ng sternum. Xiphoid? Nope. Yung superior end. M nga e……”  

Krrrrrring!

We had to submit our papers.

We were a few steps from Doc Es when Kenan Cinco, a classmate, checked and raised his paper at an angle that showed me his answers. It’s one thing to be tempted. It’s another thing to actually go and write down what I had seen. Both were not my concern. Why? I didn’t have my eyeglasses on. His answers were no more than a blur to me. How I thank God for not letting me fall into such pit. I handed over my paper and accepted defeat. More than the one point that I lost, it was the irksome so-near-yet-so-far feeling that gnawed on me.

At one point during the lecture part which was given right after the practicals, I had to consciously shy away from cursing out loud. With one finger at a point midway my chest and neck, I stared at Question no. 14: Where is the location of the jugular notch?

Two of the choices read:

…of the Manubrium.

Dang!

#%$#@%$%@%$@#!

A sticky note in cyberspace…

July 16, 2013
12:55 AM

Yes, I am struggling. Uncertainties are all over the place, may it be exam results, unfinished school output, overdue appointments, and God knows what else. It’s been a month and a half of what felt like a year of tough times.

I just want to keep myself reminded that this is just the beginning; and that someday, all these would be worth looking back.

Separation Anxiety, or something close to that…

One of my dearest college classmates is probably up in the air right now, flying her way to greener pasture. Johnnette Bedonia is one of the few friends that I have managed to keep in touch with post-acad, maybe not everyday, but regularly. I can’t help but be sentimental about her leaving. There is this gnawing feeling that strikes familiar to me and I have busted my wits trying to lay my finger on it. Don’t get me wrong; I couldn’t be any happier for her. I’m sure that she’d do great out there. If not for this inane and bothersome sentiment, I could be jumping and hopping here and there in celebration of her feat. Communication is the least of my worries, thanks to social media, web calls, and all other advances that the world did not have quarter of a century back. Physical absence? I don’t think so–the last time I saw her was almost two years ago. Besides, experiencing first hand how fast time flies nowadays (for me at least), she’ll be back in no time. Envy? No, not even the friendly kind, if ever such exists. I have chosen to embark on a different path that leaves me not wanting to take the same fate as most nurses, not anytime soon.

So, what could be the cause of all these slushy sentiments that have kept me from being productive for the past hours?

Beats me. It’s one cliffhanger that I’ll have to figure out sooner or later. 

In the meantime, I just want to wish my friend a safe trip. Bon voyage, Johnny! (Size 9 ako. LOL)

PS: Sentiments, sentiments, sentiments, as if three is not too much. I just can’t get enough of it.