the ogre that never dies

When I was young, I read a story on Larry Henares’ column, Make My Day, at the Inquirer, about an ogre that never dies. The story never left my mind and stuck like a leech.

It was set in a small town wherein the ruler was an ogre who lived in a castle on top of the mountain. The townspeople were sick and tired of their ruler who was greedy and mean. They decided to send all the brave men, one by one, to try and kill the ogre. Sadly, nobody ever came back. The ogre continued to rule the town for a long, long time.

Until one day, a brave, young prince arrived to dare enter the castle and kill the ogre. He found out that the task was not difficult at all and proceeded to finish the job. As it turned out, all the men who came before him were able to kill the ogre but they all turned into ogre themselves. The prince was no different. He, too, became an ogre himself and continued to rule the place.

That's what power does to the weak of heart. And unfortunately, that’s what's happening now. A very vicious cycle with no visible end in sight.

yey to blogger for making it easier to add an image =)


parada ng lechon

one of the lechons which paraded in balayan, batangas Posted by Hello

my day started a little earlier than usual today. i woke up at 4 am to make a very early trip to balayan, batangas. the town is celebrating its fiesta today in honor of St. John the Baptist, the town's patron. and for the first time, i was able to join in their festivities.

when i got out of the car, M, my sister-in-law, poured ice-cold water at me to welcome me to their hometown. since it was the feast of St. John, everybody tried to repeat the ritual of baptism, thus everybody was armed with a water gun or a pail or a tabo. good thing i came prepared and soon after, i joined them in pouring water to everybody especially the newcomers who were still dry. my brother's weapon was a big hose, a little smaller than what firemen use, but way bigger than a garden hose. we did this while we waited for the parada ng lechon, the highlight of the fiesta, to pass by M's house.

i lost count of how many roasted pigs were paraded today. they came in different sizes, decors, and positions. a float sponsored by san miguel beer positioned the lechon to make it look like it was drinking beer. the guys who were at the float poured beer on us instead of water!

one float sponsored by a machine shop made the lechon look like it was a welder, complete with mask and that thing used by welders (the one with fire at the end). there were a couple of other floats wherein only the skeleton of the roasted pigs were left...poor piggies.

after the long parade and after everybody was satisfied that nobody was left dry, we settled in for lunch. i had lunch at 3 different houses. the first was at M's house then we transferred to another house after which, we had dessert at another cousins' house. she wanted to bring us to a couple of other houses but i begged off. i didn't want to ruin my diet...wish ko lang!

probably at this hour, quite a few are having their blood pressures checked. and i bet, a lot of people did not forget to take their anti-hypertensive medications!



L's 1st bday party Posted by Hello

my sister's 1 year-old son, L, is staying with me and my mom for the week. being the firstborn (and most likely, the only child) and an APAS baby at that, L is very precious especially to his parents. he's so precious that my sister is calling almost 10 times a day just to check on her son. kulit talaga!

and just now, she called me up to ask what L was doing. she and her husband were missing him so much that even though i told her L was asleep, she wanted me to take his picture and send it to her phone through MMS. grabe!

i wonder how my sister would fare when L starts going to school, grows up, meets new friends, and have a life of his own. would she be able to let go? at least, that's not for many years yet.

who knows, by some miracle, L would have a sibling by then and letting go wouldn't be too hard to do.


father's day

on sunday, my family would be celebrating father's day without our dad. another first for us. just the same, it's a good excuse for the whole family to get together and have lunch somewhere. since my dad isn't with us anymore, my mom would shoulder the burden of treating everybody to some good food. but on second thought, maybe this time, my brothers would be treating us instead since they're both fathers now.

and good food it better be. food is a big thing in my family and eating is our passion, though we're not much into cooking (at least for me). so we're more into eating out and celebrations such as father's day, however commercialized it is, is a very good excuse for us to try a new restaurant in town. i wonder where it would be this time...
enough about eating and more about fathers...

sometimes i'm amazed how fatherhood changes some people. for instance, J, husband of my friend DJ and sam's dad, used to be an insomniac which was probably due to too much stress at work. he usually needs a sleeping tablet just so he could sleep at night. but with the arrival of baby sam, lo and behold! his insomnia became a thing of the past! the joy of seeing sam, taking care of her, watching her grow and playing with her made him forget all his worries.

J and family
and now that J can sleep better at night, DJ is the one who wakes up to feed and change sam's diaper at night. ayus!


on rallies, etc.

while examining a patient, i heard the others talking about a rally to be held today. suddenly, i realized i wasn't just moonlighting for a non-government organization, but an NGO which was affiliated with a group of activists.

the fear of being abducted by unidentified goons and being questioned for involvement with anti-government activities started to resurface...ala martial law. not that i've done anything wrong but my over-active imagination could sometimes get the best of me.

good thing i wasn't invited. it spared me from making an excuse and saying no to these people who are dedicated to their vision of democracy. although i know they would respect my decision not to get involved.

when i applied as a part time physician in that clinic, i told them that i would do only what i could do. and that is, a doctor to those who would need one. rallies are not my style...well, at least now that i'm a little older.

and though most of the people i see there are members of a group, all fighting for a cause, in my eyes, they're all patients seeking help from a doctor.



the rainy season has officially started. i'm torn between gladly welcoming it and dreading it. the heat of the past summer was too much. but the coming of rains also mean floods. and that would mean getting stuck at home. aaargggghhhhh!

back in march, i made a list on things i'd like to do after my board exams. it was a short list but, surprise, surprise, i haven't done everything on it...

1. go to boracay... check. but not with B, as planned. i went with my family then i came back a week after with friends.

2. go to the gym... ummm... next please...

3. start driving... i did take driving lessons from C, but i still don't possess the guts to drive on my own. although last weekend, i experienced the joy of driving an automatic... so i guess, this is a half-check.

4. decide on my career path... the most difficult one. i've narrowed my list to those 3-year residency programs which wouldn't require too much stress to my poor neurons and body. stress is okay but not too much. nothing is definite yet, though... i'm still praying for guidance.




Last week, I was interviewed for a late-night show on GMA. The show, Emergency, had a feature on the safety of henna tattoo.

To make a very long story short, I had a henna tattoo placed on my forearm and later developed an allergic reaction. The thing was, it wasn't my first time to have a reaction from henna. My stubbornness (or was it stupidity?) prevailed when I saw all those cool designs while I was in Boracay. An acquaintance saw my allergy (shaped like a dolphin since the original tattoo was...yup, a dolphin!) and begged me to be interviewed for the feature. I was very reluctant at first coz I was thinking of the extra 20 lbs the TV would add to my appearance! I said, no way! But the kapuso in me prevailed and I eventually gave in.

Duke accompanied me to GMA where the interview was held. The reporter was young, looked a little nervous…but I think a little bored too. The cameraman looked friendly enough so I made a small request. I tried to charm him into getting the angle where I wouldn’t look too big but if it was impossible, to just blur my face. =P

Not telling my friends when it would be shown, I waited alone last Friday night for my debut on Philippine television. After a long wait, the midnight news ended and the show started. I made myself comfortable on my bed while waiting, which turned out to be a very bad idea. I soon fell asleep only to wake up to catch the end of the show.

So, was I on the show? Was a new star born? I dunno. Nobody I know seemed to have seen the show too. Olats!

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