Eraserheads Reunion Concert, & Ely Buendia's Angioplasty

September 8th, 2008 § 3

Everyone just had to blog about it, right? :)

But no, I wasn’t there that night. I was, half-hearted, on the way to Embassy with some colleagues when I got texts from my Mom and brothers (Kuya Nate was with the ABSCBN crew who covered the event) about the abrupt ending of the most-awaited rock concert of all time. Ely Buendia, having gone through loads of emotional and physical stress brought about by concert rehearsals and the death of his mom, had a heart attack towards the end of the first set.. but of course everyone knows already what happened.

My family has developed this familial concern for Ely Buendia, not only because my brother, Nikos, would spend all his high school allowance buying cassette tapes and making mixtapes of Eraserheads songs, and we would all have to listen to them blasting on our stereos all-day ’round. And not only because I eventually started sharing my brother’s addiction, spending all my lunch money buying songhits with Eraserheads centerfolds, lyrics and chords, much to our parents’ questioning however we convince them that Eheads was the new Beatles.

It was only when Ely had his first attack about two years ago that the rest of the family (read: my Mom) started being interested about the whereabouts and whatabouts of Eraserheads (and/or the lack thereof).

Which explains why I knew about Ely’s heart attack right when it was being announced. There I was, on the way to Embassy, in a conference call with my brothers and Mom. Yeh. :P

Last Saturday, Ely Buendia was released from the hospital, recovering from his third angioplasty, a heart procedure that is so familiar to me (and my family) because my Dad underwent the same procedure just before Ely’s first attack in 2007. Incidentally, Dr. Wilfredo Dee, my Dad’s Cardiologist, was the same person who performed Ely Buendia’s angioplasties. And I can just assume that it was Dr. Dee who performed Ely’s third angioplasty also, after all, there are very few cardiologists in the Philippines who perform angioplasty, and Dr. Dee is one of them.

Angioplasty is the new bypass. Unlike bypass, however, angioplasty is not an intrusive procedure because it doesn’t require to cut through the chest and open up the heart. In my Dad’s case, he was cut somewhere in his thigh, just big enough to insert the stent (“tightly folded balloons“) to flow through the vessels, and right through the clot that’s blocking the passageway of the blood to his heart. (Sorry for the very UN-technical explanation, I’m describing this based on how I understood what was done to my Dad. Heh.)

And, unlike bypass which cuts through blood vessels to install new ones for the blood to flow through, angioplasty restores the blood vessels to its original state, perhaps a bit weakened, but easier to recover from. You’d wonder how in the world can Ely Buendia still live to tell the story and promise a second Eraserhead Reunion Concert after three (!!!) heart procedures, well — it’s angioplasty alright. If Ely had three bypasses instead, I reckon his heart would be weaker, and he’d be on bed-rest the rest of his prime.

There’s a lot of buzz about another Eraserheads Reunion in the works. I make sure I get myself a ticket this time. Not only because Eraserheads has been the soundtrack of my young, carefree life too, just like everyone else; But I’d like to be rooting for Ely Buendia, most especially, for putting his whole heart out there — literally and figuratively — in the name of music and life. Hands down.

*Thanks to Jorem for the photo. Browse through his album to see more. :)

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