Saturday, March 7, 2020

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Why I'm a fan of Carla Barbon's Instagram stories

I'm still largely in Instagram because of my friend Carla Barbon's stories (her account is in private mode). I follow her feed with rabid anticipation. She makes stories out of tragedies. Months ago I sympathized with (and also laughed out loud at) her ordeals in her trip to Louisiana where the hotel she was supposed to check in was ravaged by a hurricane. Someone later adopted her in another accommodation so she never had to play the homeless role. During that trip, she would also win a prestigious award in a major lung world conference.

But the greatest attraction is her commentary on her every day, especially when she talks about provincial life. She is the Alice Munro to rural Mindoro. She would post about her childhood, about her grandparents who raised her, about her father who had just discovered Spotify. These tales would warm my heart, make me grateful for family and friends, and encourage me to celebrate the simplicity of an uncomplicated life. But she is also an absurdist like the writer David Sedaris who views life through a different lens. She is so funny. She articulates feelings or phenomena I couldn't find the words to. For instance, this post on her mother's dinnerware collection. I just had to reply that we have the same situation at home. And isn't the post downright brilliant?

Carla’s Instagram stories

I love Carla's wit and humor—and her person. She shifts her tone seamlessly—a well-traveled intellectual socialite and a street-smart, no-nonsense, wide-eyed palengkera. She can tell you why synchronized intermittent mandatory ventilation is warranted in an intubated patient with the same ease as when she makes her stand for or against one of the Barretto sisters. I don't know if she's for Claudine or Marjorie—but maybe that issue has lapsed and no longer deserves a commentary.

Carla’s Instagram stories

And if you knew her personally and if you had actually worked with her, you would find that she is among the finest internists and critical care and lung specialists you'll find. And such a joy to work with. She is bursting with stories—self-deprecating and humble, hilarious and insightful—that I just can't get enough of them. I can hear her speak when I read her.

So I'm a fan. Because of her stories I can't totally leave Instagram. Thanks for sharing bits and pieces of your life, Carcs.

Heto, may tissue ako. Alam kong mata-touch ka nito.

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