January 19, 2009

Death Do We Part

"But soon we shall die and all memory of those five will have left earth, and we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning."
-The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thorton Wilder

Ever since the demise of my parents, life has been a surreal nightmare of sorts. It's as if I've been viewing into a dream sequence where all the characters have been playing their designated roles and the setting merely a shell of what I knew before. It's like an altered parallel universe that I really wanted to escape and wake up. I ask myself whether this is real or merely an extended dream wherein closing one's eyes will not change the moment. Vanilla Sky this ain't.

Indeed I have been waking up, going to work, eating my meals religiously and sleeping- just like any human being- in order to function my basic necessities. But apart from this routine, is there something to mark my whole existence in the world? As we pass away from this earth we are forgotten by the world only to be remembered by those who knew us, who encountered us in our respective paths, and those who we had a strong connection to. Everything else is secondary for none shall be brought to the netherworld and memories of the present fade gradually into the sands of time. We are nothing but specks in the course of the universe and the world will not weep or blip in our passing.

Legacies given by great people for which they are remembered for are more because of ideas rather than the persons themselves. Like Rizal for his nationalism and Gandhi for his non-violence, these personages remain in our thoughts because they have something great to teach the world. Even Hitler taught the world Nazism and the horrors that a person is capable to doing. They are distilled and are remembered for their abstract philosophies but not for their personalities, their hopes and their frustrations. The person withers away and only his name remains.

Inversely, who can we be able to remember those heroes, politicians and presidents that have come by? Even in greatness in character does not connote remembrance for future generations. Who can even remember the names of Eduard Douwes Dekker, Albert Schweitzer, Rabindranath Tagore? Only academicians and historians most likely. How about our own Dagohoy, Leon Kilat, Papa Isio, Leo Echagaray, Elpidio Quirino and the rest of the Philippine motley crew? Can one point out their works and their lives? No one most probably. Such reality is a testament that all of us will end up being forgotten as soon as we are interred six feet into the ground. And the world will keep on spinning.

January 18, 2009

New Hope

New Hope
by: Julsitos

Where hands of slaves and the oppressed
lift the veil that hung like night,
where stars now shine the dispossessed
fill the void with radiant light.

And all that hope that hearts yearn
into this one it personifies,
may it be as firm as the truths we learn,
with justice and peace it glorifies.

January 17, 2009

Two Medical Superstitions

This was a draft during my internship (which happened to be ancient history already)...

1. Seeing Red

Try going to any tertiary hospital and most chances are, you won't see any blazer-clad doctor wearing a red shirt. It was only during clerkship that I was introduced to this curse which says that anyone who wears a predominantly red shirt will have a "toxic" duty that night. By "toxic" we mean that the poor doctor will have the following albeit in different degrees and permutations of stressful events:

1. Internal Medicine - You will have more than three cadiopulmonary arrests going on the same time that you wish you were like the Indian goddes Shiva who has six arms to do multitasking in doing CPR, including one to wipe your sweat off.

2. Pediatrics - Either you will find yourself enjoying a "children's party" at the ER where you alone have to face surly and impatient parents and devil-spawned children who you wish to send to the netherworld ala Orpheus.

3. OB-GYNE - You will realize that it's only on your particular duty where there's a deluge of mothers about to give birth as if there was a dearth of human population. Most have already 5 or 6 spawns to feed already. How these baby factories will be able to send their changelings to high school will remain a mystery.

2. Speak No Evil

It's advisable not to utter any taboo words during one's duty. Words like "toxic", "benign", and the like will have exponential effects towards the participants. Mostly into a spiral downturn into the abyss, victims recall to have uttered these curse words whereby in a span of an hour, a deluge of strokes, breech pregnancies and vehicular accidents came pouring in. And mostly these are indigent patients, so besides being a medical practitioner, one becomes a social worker spewing litanies of the benefits of having money. At times it becomes so acute that one tends to prescribe money towards these patients.

Those who name that-cannot-be-named becomes the immediate beneficiary of head-whacks and snide remarks from those who will be affected. Such is the power of words.