Showing posts from May, 2018

Congratulations, IM batchmates!

I'll miss the Department Graduation at New World Hotel today. I need to be with my family in Marbel to help with the transition: new routines, new roles, a new chapter without my father around. Here are some photos of my IM family. Congratulations to us! I hate this pose. But I love these people.

Most common mistakes—committed

Case in point: ng/nang confusion.


With Nanay I share a fondness for ripe mangoes. A man delivered these to our neighborhood—sweet-smelling harvest from neighboring Tantangan, South Cotabato. I'll make fresh fruit juice. Maybe a smoothie.

The day after

The day after Tatay's burial, we went to Sarangani Highlands to tour close friends of my mother who visited Mindanao for the first time. Seeing the beauty of God's creation in our quiet, peaceful nook in Southern Philippines was a balm to our grief. From the garden we saw Sarangani Bay. Colorful shrubs grew in the garden. Because of the heat, the "senior citizens" opted to stay inside the air-conditioned restaurant. From left: Uncle Rene, my mother, Auntie Cecil, and Tita Mimi. We're grateful for these friends who spent time with us, giving us Christian comfort, during quite possibly the most difficult moment of our lives. From left: Uncle Rene and Auntie Cecil Jamison, Tita Hearty Cataluña, Auntie Liza Dayot, my mother, Tita Mimi and Uncle Nani Bañares. Photo was taken in our living room.


Still no words yet—we buried Tatay on Sunday morning—but there are many things I'm grateful for: —Hearing my brothers and my mother give eloquent eulogies on Tatay's penultimate day before the funeral. —Listening to tributes of his close friends who revealed hidden profiles of my father not apparent to us. My father's kindness and joy was something that they, too, will miss. —The beautiful, gospel-centered preaching of Pastor Guilbert, who made use of the two nights and one day of funeral service as a series on the gospel, starting with sin, heaven, and how to be assured of one's salvation. —Our church, Marbel Evangelical Fellowship, that hosted the funeral service. Our brothers and sisters in the faith have been sources of encouragement to us, demonstrating to us God's lovingkindness.

Tatay's speech

It's the little things that make me weep, the minutiae of life so permeated with Tatay's presence—such as this printed cue card. It bears the words he had uttered during Manong Ralph's thanksgiving party in May 15, 2011.

Tatay, 66

The Lord called my father, Isidro P. Catedral, home last Sunday. Tatay was 66 years old. I have no words yet, so let me borrow this beautiful Puritan prayer , one that has been encouraging me and my family through this uniquely painful ordeal. Bathe my soul in rich consolations ... of thy resurrection life; Great was thy grace .. in commanding me to come hand in hand .... with thee to the Father, .... to be knit to him eternally, .... to discover in him my rest, .... to find in him my peace, .... to behold his glory, .... to honour him who is alone worthy; .. in giving me the Spirit as teacher, guide, .... power, .. that I may live repenting of sin, .. conquer Satan, .. find victory in life. When thou art absent all sorrows are here, When thou art present all blessings are mine. —"Victory," from the Valley of Vision

The bike, future of public transportation

Clive Thomson, writing for Wired . What’s the shiniest, most exciting new technology for transportation? Well, there are plenty of candidates! We’ve got the self-­driving car and drones big enough to carry people. Elon Musk is getting ready to bore hyperloop tunnels. When it comes to moving humans around, the future looks to be merging with sci-fi. But from where I stand, the most exciting form of transportation technology is more than 100 years old—and it’s probably sitting in your garage. It’s the bicycle. The future of transportation has two thin wheels and handlebars. It sounds too good to be true. I hope this happens in the Philippines soon, but the environmental, health, and monetary benefits will have to be balanced with the fact that bike riders have to put up with the heat. Would office workers, for example, be willing to come to their jobs drenched in sweat? I would—if there are showers available.

Junk the quo warranto

An argument against the unlimited powers of the Supreme Court , as it should, above all, be fiercely loyal and adherent to the Constitution, begins with a hypothetical issue of adding another ray to the Philippine flag: If a case were to reach the Court demanding that a ninth ray be added to the flag, and the constitutional provision was not amended and duly ratified, the Court would have to reject the case based on the hallowed tradition honoring the current flag that goes all the way back to 1898. Article XVI, Section 1 itself speaks of “consecration” by the people and “recognition” in law; but the point is, even if the proviso were not included, the Court would still be bound by this tradition. In other words, there are limits beyond which the Supreme Court cannot venture. Like King Canute of legend, who was reported to have commanded the tide of the sea to stop (and failed), the Court cannot hold back the tides of reason and history. The Inquirer editorial goes further: The

The more, the merrier

I once said in a grad speech I delivered during med school that misery loves company. In this case, it involves Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which, in a research published, by scientists from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was shown to communicate distress signals to one another in order to evade antibiotics . The reported behavior was caused by tobramycin, an antibiotic commonly used in clinical settings, and resulted in a dual signal response. As this antibiotic was applied to a colony of P. aeruginosa, the bacteria produced a signal to a localized area of the colony—a Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS) that is known to occur—as well as a second, community-wide response, known as the alkyl hydroxyquinoline (AQNO). The team mapped production of each response spatially, and determined that P. aeruginosa is capable of producing PQS in small pockets at significantly higher concentrations than previously recorded. Pseudomonas is notoriou

Dot org

On my blog's 14th year, I had a hard time renewing my domain name. My domain service provider—a Cebu-based company that used to give me nothing but excellent service—decided to go quiet when I mailed my billing statement. I was not alerted if the said company still exists to this day. I called the office number and sent countless emails to verify if my payment was received at all, but days have passed and I've been getting emails and messages from friends, worried that showed an error message when accessed—an impersonal white page instead of my carefully chosen fonts and my childish drawing of eyeglasses in the header. The news is that I am still alive and will keep on writing on my private little space in the web. I'm aware that this is the time when there are moves to veer away from social media, which used to be a democratic place where free exchange of ideas can happen but something that has evolved into a monstrosity, what with the political manipulati

The woods

Cavite, Philippines, March 2018

Kasalang Bayan

Spotted this along the PGH corridor. Funny that, of all places, the notice should be placed near the Department of Medicine, teeming with single people. (Also, congratulations to Danes Guevara who tops this years's Internal Medicine speciality board exam!)

Submit to necessary afflictions

April has ended, and we're now in May. How time flies. We begin the month with this Puritan prayer . Let us take up his cross and follow him. May the agency of thy grace prepare us .... for thy dispensations. Make us willing that thou shouldest ... choose our inheritance and ... determine what we shall retain or lose, .... suffer or enjoy; If blessed with prosperity may we be free .. from its snares, .. and use, not abuse, its advantages; May we patiently and cheerfully submit ... to those afflictions which are necessary. When we are tempted to wander, .. hedge up our way, .. excite in us abhorrence of sin, .. wean us from the present evil world, Assure us that we shall at last enter .... Immanuel’s land ...... where none is ever sick, ...... and the sun will always shine.