Caught in the Act

June 29th, 2007 § 12

It’s not as bad as it looks you know.

Last June 2, our church had a medical-dental mission at Mambugan, Antipolo. Just a backgrounder, I’ve always avoided assisting in the dental department because I couldn’t stand seeing all the gory action happening inside the (ugh) mouth, the bloodshed, and the tears. This last time, however, it was as if I was called to be there. They needed assistance, and I was there, and while no one really forced me to help out, I took the challenge of being the dentist’s assistant cum makeshift dental chair.

Now to defend myself from a church-full of witnesses, this picture does not (AT ALL) describe how I was the whole day. And Jasper, who arrived just a few hours short to assist with me, can attest to that (right dude?)

With our designated Dentist for the day (and my cousin in law, too), Dr. Jojo.

I can’t believe someone caught this moment in the act. (Good job, Tito Eg!)

Contrary to what this picture shows, I kindof enjoyed it, really. No, not the part where you get to witness anesthesia being injected into the gums, and teeth being extracted, and saliva and blood gushing all over the place. Mostly, I took joy in holding a scared kid’s hand while his mollars were being pulled out, or conversing with mothers about trivial things while they waited for the anesthesia to seep in, or assuring a little girl “na parang kagat lang ng langgam yan” when she’s on the verge of backing out.

There were times when I felt like shutting my eyes off because it’s like I could feel their pain, or times when I’d struggle for the right words of comfort to say. I can’t even remember how many times Jasper and I said “parang kagat lang ng langgam yan“, and then we’d look at each other and silently laugh, knowing that it’s really more painful than that. You know you just had to say it to give them a little push, or to let them know that there are far more painful experiences in the world than an extracted tooth.

“Masakit lang yan sa simula.”

“Sandali lang to, tas tapos na.”

“Anong mas gusto mo, araw-araw syang masakit, o tatanggalin na naten ngayon para tapos na yung sakit?”

It was therapeutic saying those things to kids, and hearing yourself as if you need it too. After some time you get used to the sight of blood, and to the shrieks of pain. After some time you get relieved for them because you know that they’d go back home armed with a pack of pain killers to last a whole week, and the pain would soon be gone. And then you watch them leave and you know that if only for that one moment that God allowed you to be there in their time of pain, the experience was definitely worth it all.

With Nanay Beth Miana, another one of SBC’s very own dedicated doctors.

See, I don’t look scared anymore, do I? c”,)

More pictures here and there.

Paper Clips Brought Me to You

June 27th, 2007 § 16

Paper ClipYou know how some people collect paper clips they find lying around? I seriously tried it. I walked around the mall, along Ortigas Center, and all the way back home just to get one (just one!!) paper clip sighting so I have something to say about my paper clip experience (or, now, the lack thereof).

And I kind of made it a point to go out of the office as I didn’t want to consider it a valid place to have an extraordinary paper clip encounter. You see, I have a box of paper clips on my drawer, some on my folders, a couple hanging by my cork board, and I’m sure there’s a pink one somewhere in Camille‘s jungle of a desk too — in short, one is more likely to see a paper clip lying around in an office than not. I wonder how Markku and Nikki just find paper clips lying around — along the side of the road, in a park bench, etc? It’s even more interesting how Nikki finds one all the time, anywhere she goes! (Gaah. Maybe if I stop trying, if I stop looking, I’ll find one. When that happens, I’ll let you guys know.)

Amazingly, albeit my failure to find a wandering paper clip, this experience has virtually brought me to places, and people, and ideas (and dreams) I never thought possible. One thing that surfaced in this paper clip project is that, what paper clips are for different people has gone beyond what they were originally made for and what their very name implies (you know, to clip papers together). Simply put, paper clips have become more than just, well, paper clips. There’s the manly habit of using paper clips as tooth pick, cotton buds, or something to pick your nose with (come on guys, couldn’t you be any more disgusting? LOL). There’s the rare fashion of using paper clips to adorn the hair. There’s the usual OC method of organizing files with color-coded paper clips.

And then there are those whose lives were changed because of one paper clip. There’s this guy who started with one red paper clip, which he traded until he ended with a house in Canada. And there’s this Filipina who wrote a story about a yellow paper clip with bright purple spots, which ended being published, and eventually became an award-winning children’s story book.

Paper clips mean a lot of things to a lot of people. And if we would spread our imagination, there’s more to paper clips than meets the eye.

Prior to this, I didn’t have any extraordinary paper clip experience. I don’t collect paper clips like Nikki or Markku. I don’t have a bad childhood memory that has to do with paper clips like Mikey or Ade. I don’t know how to make hearts out of them like Tina. I do remember that Maid in Manhattan movie and the little paper clip moment the little kid and the man had, but unlike Mae, I never once tried if it would work for me. And I definitely WON’T use paper clips for the purpose of personal hygiene, ok, TJ and Jake? (You have jobs! Buy cotton buds will you?!)

Perhaps I just didn’t have any reason to sensationalize what paper clips are for until now.

It’s true what they say.. there’s always something extraordinary about the ordinary, in the same way you find beauty in the most trivial of things. You ignore the fact that you share the world with billions of paper clips, until this one point in your life when it created for you a way to reconnect with an old friend. Which in turn became an excuse to connect with all sorts of people: People who use paper clips to take wax off their ears. People who have traumatic experiences with paper clips. People who collect paper clips, and use them to define moments.

Now, I have every reason to see paper clips in a different light. This could be it, my paper clip story preserved in a blog forever. It may not be as grand as Nikki’s, or Oneredpaperclip’s, but who knows, this could be, for me, the beginning of something else. I’m excited to find out.

Hey David, your turn. ;)

Here’s more link love to the rest of you who commented and shared their thoughts on paper clips: ♥Joni♥, Jun, Jayvee, Rob, Romz. Merci. ♥

Edit. A bit too late but here’s the challenge: I blog about it, he makes a song. (I know there’s something not fair about that, LOL.) For what it’s worth, he “won” the dare because I missed deadline, but really now, I’m confused. (Why did you win again? We both missed deadline, didn’t we?) Anyway. Here’s his song which you can also find here.

And think when trials come
Like heavy weights they press you down
At times it seems it never ends
Just bend along and change again
to gather all life’s sheets again
And remember there is strength in you inside
Like paperclips we hold life’s one big bind
One big bind.

Paperclips by David Oyos © July 2007


June 25th, 2007 § 7

Almost exactly a year ago, I texted something to a group of friends ala forwarded message style. The thing is, that text wasn’t forwarded to me — I did it myself. And I even posted it up there for the sake of documenting it.

Now there comes a time in a girl’s life when she finds herself wishing that someone will just come to her rescue and tell her that it’s okay not to be tough.

That she doesn’t have to protect herself from getting hurt anymore because he’s already there to protect her.

That she doesn’t have to worry about getting her heart broken again because he’ll do whatever it takes not to let it happen.

Here’s the funny thing. Just now, I received the exact same text. From someone I met just about three months ago.

Unbelievable. Creepy, even. Almost.. magical.

Project Paperclip

June 20th, 2007 § 28

I’m doing a little project (more like a dare), with a friend. Let me tell you about it soon. Meanwhile, help me out.

What can you say about paperclips?

Paperclip Project

Tell me anything. Thoughts, funny incidences with a paperclip (whatev), life changing decisions made with the help of a paperclip, jokes about paperclips, innovative ways of using paperclips, etc. Comment away. :)

Missing Dad on Fathers' Day

June 18th, 2007 § 32

I dreaded Fathers’ Day to come. I was scared to find out how I was going to feel being father-less in an occasion such as this for the first time. So let me tell you how my celebration of Fathers Day went.

In church, I’ve always been the designated person to do audio-visual presentations, so by default, I was tasked to make one for Fathers’ Day (which was shown in church yesterday). I hesitated at first, jokingly said “why would I? I don’t have a Dad!“, but decided to do it because I know that that’s what Daddy would have wanted me to do. Besides, SBC dads have always been like second fathers to me. It was a privilege doing something to honor them.

For obvious reasons, I cried doing the AVP Saturday night. And while it was being shown during the worship service, I cried watching it even though I’ve seen it over a dozen times already. I cried thinking about Dad, and how incomplete the occasion was without him. I cried thinking about how different things would have been if he was still around — he would have given me a big hug after the AVP was shown, told me something like, “Gawa mo ba yun, nak? Ang galing talaga ng anak ko! Kanino ka ba nagmana?” (even though the AVP was nothing spectacular). I cried seeing some of his pictures being flashed on the screen, and having people come up to me to tell me how great a person and a father Daddy was. I cried while Pastor Lito was praying for them fathers, thinking that it would have been Daddy doing that special fathers’ day prayer. I cried playing the keyboard up front, and seeing the monobloc chair where Daddy always sat, empty since he died, as if no one wants to occupy it because of an unspoken agreement that the seat was supposedly Dad’s.

As the worship service came to a close, I hugged my Mom and my brother, and while we jokingly greeted each other, “Happy Father-less Day to us”, we know, and we need not say it, that we have a lot of reasons to celebrate Fathers’ Day. Specifically this reason: God has blessed us with a great Daddy, and even though he’s now gone, we still have The Great Father in heaven, the same one who’s keeping the whole universe together, who holds our lives in His hands. For us, that’s more than enough.

As I said, I’ve learned that crying does not change the situation, but simply a release so that one has more room to fill with strength to cope, and to move on — at least that’s how it has worked for me. Come to think of it, no occasion will ever be the same again. There will always be that empty seat in Christmasses, and birthdays, and anniversaries, to come. As Miss Noemi always puts it, I’m entering my “new normal”. This is how it’s always gonna be from now on, and I need not be sad about it. We will always miss Dad, but there will always be that unexplainable joy that comes with knowing that even though he’s not here with us anymore, his memory lives on whatever happens and wherever we go.

I told my Dad I want this song, Butterfly Kisses, played on my wedding day (fine, if there’d be any, that is). We even practiced dancing to this one already, one Saturday afternoon in his church office, only we ended up banging our heads ala Beatles’ style, dancing variations of cha-cha (my Dad sucks at dancing hehe), and laughing throughout the music. *sigh* I miss him.

But at least I can always play this song and be remembered of that afternoon. :) And at least I can always close my eyes, think of that dream wedding, and picture Daddy there, dancing with me for the last time before he gives me away.

Happy Fathers’ Day, Daddy. I am who I am now because of how you and Mom raised us up and how you lived your lives. I love you and I thank God for you.

And to all the fathers out there, Happy Fathers Day! And to all the daughters, and Daddy’s little girls out there, this song, that my Dad and I would have danced together with on my wedding night, is for you. Listen away. :)

Audio: Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle. Lyrics after the jump.

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Second Chances

June 16th, 2007 § 2

Unlimited second chances — we see this all the time. It can be regarded as the idea behind everydays. You wake up, spend the day, do what you can, live to the fullest, and set aside other things for tomorrow because 24 hours is just not enough. You retire in bed knowing that tomorrow is another day, to make things right, to make the right choices, and if any, to accomplish the carryovers of the day that was.

But sometimes, second chances only come once. And then it ends there. No more third or fourth chances. No more begging for another chance. Just that one make-or-break chance to correct the wrong choices of the past and make things right — and then the moment is gone forever. Just that one flicker of hope which you can either blow away or try to keep burning — and then the flame dies down.

In my life I have failed many second chances, some of them haunts me until now in the form of should-have-beens and what-ifs.

(And I couldn’t help but think that today, we just lost ours.)

But one has to keep moving, to keep breathing, to leave the torments of yesterday behind and focus on what lies ahead. After all, today’s another day. And, if God wills, there’s still tomorrow to look forward to.

I’m a Writer, Really

June 10th, 2007 § 17

At this point, I’m left without a choice but to accept that I am a writer. Coz sometimes, I wonder.. if I’m not a writer, then what am I? If I’m not going to write, what else am I to do? If I can’t be good at writing, where else can I be good at?

It actually takes a lot of courage to admit these things to myself (which I have to do every single day by the way), much more to disclose these thoughts to an audience that includes professional writers and bloggers around the world who are brilliant at what they do.

I am what most people would call a jack of all trades, master of none. In wikipedia, this means

A person who is passably competent with many skills but is not outstandingly brilliant with any one particular skill.

Let me explain further.

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Super Mom Part 2

June 3rd, 2007 § 9

In the spirit of tradition, here’s another delayed hallmark greeting. :P (I’m an expert at being late.)

Anyway, exactly a year ago, I posted something with the same title. Now, I’m re-using it not because I can’t think of anything else but because after all these years, she‘s still super. :)

They say, if you’re a guy and you want to see how it’s like to be with a girl for the rest of your life, go see her Mom. More often than not, she’ll eventually end up like her, looks and all. In my case, I find that hard to believe, because (1) my Mom’s always composed, I stutter all the time; (2) she always remembers, I always forget; (3) she’s a great cook, I can only make scrambled eggs and instant pancit canton; (4) she’s a very strong woman (I’ve probably seen her cry about 5 times my whole life) and I, meanwhile, cry over the littlest of things (like a sappy movie, or a senti song, or a sick hamster); (5) she knows what she wants and she makes it happen, when I’m indecisive and coward most of the time.

I could list down a few dozens more, but I’ll stop here. The thing is, if indeed the theory was true, (that eventually, I’ll end up like my Mom), then yay for me. Looks like I’m going to have a bright future, after all. :P

I’m not the only one who wonders how my Mom manages to be strong and keep on with her life gracefully in spite of (physically) losing Daddy. Whenever I ask her how she does it, she would simply quote a Bible verse about God being the strength of her heart, or about finding peace in His promises, or of trusting Him even in times when she don’t understand. I told you, she’s super. I mean, it’s one thing knowing and saying these basic truths, another thing to really hold on to them and make them your lifestyle everyday. She’s amazing.

One thing for sure, if I get to have my own kids, I’d want to raise them the way my Mom (and my Dad) raised us up. Except that I’d probably allow my daughter to have a boyfriend at 18, unlike, uhm, them. Haha. (I’m not bitter okay.) Ultimately, I’d love it if one day, I’d hear my kids say that they’d want to be like me, too. (Gaah. I have to start working on that one now.)

Hey Mom, I love that life is easier because you’re always there. I love that you have no choice but to be here for us when we need you (and even if we seem like we don’t), hehe, because that’s the kind of Mom you are. And I love that I don’t have to wonder how life is gona be like without you because, well, you’ve always been around.

Thank you for being the Super Mom that you are, and for imparting to us your genes, which gives us the potentials to be super too.

Happy Birthday Mommy! I love you.

Where am I?

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