Wednesday, September 28, 2022

San Francisco, Camotes Island, Cebu

Camotes and Cebu 2022

Rough translation: 

Don't use the (toilet) bowl because it's clogged.
Thank you for understanding. 
Please don't leave your dirt in the restroom.

Where should I urinate, if the bowl is off limits? 


Monday, September 26, 2022

Brief life update

Can't believe it's been a while since I'd last updated this site. Must tell myself to let go and let the sentences flow. This is, after all, a blog, where errors are expected because there are no external editors, no second pairs of eyes to read through the entries—the outputs are overflows of my thoughts. 

A cloudy Monday today. No clinics today but must do rounds. Hoping to finish early so I can have the afternoon free. Been reading Ted Chiang's short stories and Thoreau's journals over the weekend. 

Feeling under the weather, but God's strength sustains.


Sunday, September 25, 2022

Radio interview and a classmate's death

Got off a radio interview yesterday. Forced myself to go, even if I was feeling down with something. Had already committed to do it weeks ago in behalf of the local medical society. The interview took place at the Brigada studio at 8:30 AM. Brigada Arjean asked pointed and smart questions. I talked about cancer and how to prevent and screen for it. My Hiligaynon needs work. Could do better if I listened to local radio more. 

During the program, I thought of my high school classmate P who died early that morning. Metastatic breast cancer. She fought hard, with her everything. We’d been through different lines of chemo. Her family wanted to do everything. Saw P’s mother and sister, settling bills and arranging for the transfer to the funeral parlor. They said, “Thank you, Doc. At least we extended her life for two years.” Threw away all caution and hugged them. 

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Those who work much do not work hard

Henry David Thoreau on work-life balance:

The really efficient laborer will be found not to crowd his day with work, but will saunter to his task surrounded by a wide halo of ease and leisure. There will be a wide margin for relaxation to his day . . .  Those who work much do not work hard. 

Always on the lookout for the most efficient way of doing things, I read about productivity tools and skills more often than most people I know. But there came a point when my responsibilities and the tasks that went with them crowded my day, forcing me to sacrifice regular lunch times, even sleep. My recent trips, and Thoreau's journal entry when he was 24, remind me once again to take it slow. I remember the Freestyle song, which may not be appropriate to the context I'm referring to, since the song pertains, on closer textual analysis, to tensions of erotic love.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Moving out


After my week-long trip, Sean will have moved out of the house. All of a sudden, my kid brother, who's more mature than me in the practical ways of life, will no longer be a constant presence in the house. Among my brothers, he is the one who reminds me the most of Tatay. They share the same humor. They like constant company. They think of coming back as soon as they step out of the gate. They always bring back something—a loaf of bread or some random pasalubong—when they return. 

A few weeks ago, I joined him and the wonderful Hannah to look for an apartment, where they will start a new life. It is a few blocks away from St. Gabriel and is near the vet and our favorite car wash place. On cooler days, it is reachable by walking. There is ample parking space, with a wide view of the mountains that surround the valley. The street is quiet, since it leads to a cul de sac. Vehicular and foot traffic are minimal such that it offers a feeling of isolation from city life. 

I have an open invitation to visit anytime. Sean and Hannah have set up a comfortable cooking area where they can cook and grill—things I can never do, additional reasons why he will be missed. They will build a house of their own in due time. For now, the apartment will do. We are all excited for what the Lord has in store for them.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Saved from other saviors

From Though My Flesh May Fail: Reflections on Chronic Suffering from the Hospital Bed by Brett Fredenberg: 
For the Christian, God saves us not only from our sin, but He also saves us from all other saviors.