Posted by: Jae | January 18, 2008

Last Night

Just when I thought my 2008 was going so well and I’ve never felt this calm and this centered in the past couple of years, something bad had to happen. Papa was rushed to Saint Luke’s Hospital last night over some heart complications. I’ve had some issues with my dad in the recent past, but time and accumulated affection have a way of gently bringing things to a happy resolution.  When my Mom called my cellphone to tell me she was on the way to the hospital, I felt my chest constrict. Papa was always the healthy one compared to Mama and me. Papa was our strong pole. And when your strong poles falter, it scares you because it makes everything else falter too.


I have this high school teacher who texts me quotes and jokes at least once a day. My friends are not the type to send forwarded messages on a daily basis, so I don’t really get a lot of those and he is virtually my only source. Usually, I delete forwarded messages after reading, but I particularly like this one that he sent last night:

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust, sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again’ who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at least knows in the end the triumph of great achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt.

I know it’s the sort of thing that could be a wall hanging at a government office (katabi ng Desiderata), but I was at the emergency room when I got it, surrounded by all sorts of reminders that life is short and the regrets could be many.



  1. thing is, jae, men (and women, for that matter) who have an inkling that they will be considered great someday might be tempted to make such paeans to “greatness” as are vaguely applicable to them. Sa tagalog, mahirap maniwala sa rave review tungkol sa iyo kung ikaw mismo ang nagsulat ng review na yon 🙂

  2. In fairness ang haba nung quote and nag-effort talaga yung nagsend (na kilala ko of couse). I’ve had my share of Emergency Room scary moments with tragic results, so I admire the fact that naprocess mo pa agad yung ibig sabihin ng quote na yan under very stressful moments. I wouldn’t have!

    I wish your papa well. And you, you know I’d give you a hug if I could. 🙂

  3. arnold – hindi mo man lang bibigyan ng benefit of the doubt si theodore roosevelt?

    jordan – haha, sa pancake house na katabi ng saint lukes ko na yan naprocess. thanks, one hug back at ya. love ya!!!

  4. the very same thing happened to my family last september 😦

    but right now my dad has a big scar on his chest which he proudly shows to anyone who cares to ask about his operation :p

    i hope your dad gets better soon jae.

  5. thanks, jill! my dad’s fine na. it was a very mild attack daw but we’ve to go to some cardiologists pa. mabuti na nga din it happened, kasi he’d get really bad headaches in the past and his blood pressure would shoot up, tapos he self-medicates lang. like most middle-aged men, takot sa doctor, hehehe.

    sending lovely wishes to your dad and your family too!

  6. jae, it still turned out okey naman. this year is still an auspicious year for all of us (monkey zodiacs). and we’ll be turning 28 soon (or 28 ka na nga ba) for the start of our intellectual phase of our souls – greatness perhaps? (ay 24 pa pala ako. sheesh).

  7. thanks pala sa book. i’ll read it next after i finish rushdie’s midnight’s children na natengga na naman for a couple of weeks (to give way for the new year’s work).

  8. welcome, re book. at 27 pa lang po ako!

  9. Chrisgel, what does ‘auspicious’ mean, precisely, for monkey zodiacs? 🙂 Hopefully, ALL aspects of our lives? 🙂

    Jae, happy to hear your daddy is okay na. :)*HUG*

  10. sana okey na dad mo… ;-(

  11. thanks joan and gus! i love u both!

  12. hi joan, i was told that the monkey zodiac is very compatible with the rat.
    but beyond any forecast based on the zodiac sign, i was told that by the time we reach 28, that’s when the intellectual phase of our souls starts to shine (from its searching and sentient self from ages 21-28). hmmm…

  13. jae, actually, OK naman si papa Teddy e — charging up San Juan Hill with the Roughriders and all that… at kahit medyo wary ako sa kanyang “speak softly and carry a big stick” statement (na parang naging hudyat ng ‘robocop’ phase ng USA) ay natutuwa pa din ako kasi naging eksena ito nina bugs bunny ay yosemite sam (speaak looouud!!!! and carry a biiigeerr steeeeck!!! hehehe)

    Pero, NO, Jae, i won’t give theodore roosevelt the benefit of the doubt UNTIL YOU GIVE ME YOUR KAFKA BOOK THAT I WON!!!! 🙂

  14. cgel – yey, good to hear! pero sana mas malinaw. yayaman ba ako? haha.

    arnold – sino nga ba nagsabi “speak softly and carry a lipstick”? i forget. p.s. ill give you your kafka book during our anniversary on friday.

  15. hey kumusta na siya now? please tell him i will pray for him to get super strong again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: