Monthly Archives: October 2007

Do the Bambi

I logged back in WordPress and got held up reading entries from other bloggers. It seems the Desperate Housewives issue has really caused quite a stir. I had read about it from Lilit Reyes’ blog complete with YouTube clip. People from that part of world would argue, freedom of speech. They after all say anything and everything about their President on national TV. That said, it’s countrymen dissing fellow countrymen. If it’s the French dissing the American, then that’s another story. Months ago, the Iranian people were in uproar over how the movie 300 depicted old Persia. And now this. But it’s heartening to read comments from American bloggers that they are as annoyed as we are with Teri Hatcher’s controversial line. So it’s not surprising that many Filipinos are upset.

“The truth hurts” is a phrase that I would think, is not so true when we are concerned: The truth doesn’t hurt that much. Well, I speak for myself and all the Filipinos I personally know and know well. When we’re accused of something that’s true, we feel embarrassed, but we accept it, and then we can actually laugh and joke about it. But when accused falsely, that’s when we really get hurt, our personal integrity is being questioned. And when you’re from a poor country lacking in material riches, your principles and beliefs, and all the intangibles that make up who you are like dedication, strength of character and a clean conscience, these are the things that keep your head up high.

I think this issue is more than about our national pride getting a beating. It gets personal as almost every Pinoy would have a friend or relative who is in the medical field and an OFW (myself included), and we all know of the sacrifices they have to make for the sake of their families. We also know that they are valued abroad, not only for their hard work but also for their competence and compassionate nature.Apologies have been sent out. Some say it’s not enough. But knowing how we are, we’ll forgive and forget, like how we seemed to have collectively forgotten about the Marcoses.

Anyway, things like these remind me of the animated feature Bambi, where Bambi was being told by Mum (or was it Thumper),”If you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all.” There you have it. Straight from the mouth of an all- American baby deer.

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A lesson about living from the dying.

There are times when I complain about not being given enough time to make a decent campaign. And then I met those who only had a few weeks to live.

That was the thought running in my head while my partner and I got involved in a charity project for hospice care. We spent several weeks talking to patients and their families, caregivers, nurses and hospice staff. It was emotionally draining to say the least (in a way, it dampened my happy birthday mood). Although, death is not an alien concept in my family, having a few loved ones who had passed on, I still can’t help being affected by the reality that surrounded me. Death looming on every bed. Casting it’s shadow on an old man abandoned by his family. Playing hide and seek with a 3-year-old girl who’s just learning to play with other children like her. Yes there were children and old folks, and people my age. All with terminal illness and given a prognosis of 6 months or less. Yet in spite of their condition, they manage to laugh and find joy in the littlest of things. You’d think in a place where futures are measured in mere months, hope is the last thing you’ll find. But no. We found it in the patients whose faces light up when we take their pictures, in the caregivers and nurses who speak with so much love for what they do and the people they care for.

And here we are, most of the time, consumed by work and bills. Thinking our work is the most important job and the world. Defining our lives by the amount of recognition we receive. Pursuing happiness with every swipe of our credit cards. (And starting each sentence with a participle. Intense emotions really do things to my brain…)

An exercise like this truly gives one a different perspective. What it also does is prepare yourself for that final journey. For me, it’s like being told, don’t hold back. Do everything you can today for others and for yourself too. Do it like it’s the last chance you’ve got because you never know.

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