10950679_10153283320741474_585044714355854783_nTonight, I just found out that a good friend of mine Isadore “EC” Dioso just passed away due to heart failure.  He was 66 years old. Then I started computing my age and thought to myself, “So, I still have a few more years left in me…”  That’s the problem when you reach twilight.  Your friends suddenly start dropping dead all around you.  If they aren’t dying, they’re having  cardiac episodes, a stroke, or suffering from diabetes or  prostate cancer.

One former PD I know has a plastic tube sticking out of his neck to control accumulation of fluids inside his body! Sumasamba pa rin kahit iika-ika. Some say, “nakakahanga, kahit ganoon kalagayan pinipilit pa rin sumamba.” But personally, I say “crap! hirap na hirap ka nga, pati nag-aalaga at nagbibitbit sa iyo hirap na hirap rin, puwede ka naman sa bahay panalanginan, ano bang gusto mong patunayan?!” But of course tahimik lang ako, sa akin lang yon.  Sabi sa akin ni Mrs.,”kung ikaw yan at mapilit ka pa rin makasamba sa ganyan kalagayan, tanggalin ko tubo mo, titignan ko lang kung saan ka pupulutin!”

Well anyway, let’s all stretch out a little and for even a fleeting moment just recollect on times that were and not on times that is.  Stress and bad news never make a good combination. It isn’t healthy.  In fact it can cause illness and even aggravate it. For others it may lead to depression and even suicide. So let’s just follow the wise advise of Mark Twain when he said , “Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably. And never regret anything that made you smile.”
Now where were we? Oh yes.  Almost forgot about the subject of this article – “Ang biik (piglet) -vs- Johnny Walker Blue Label.

So everyone of us survived  Typhoon Undoy – that first mega storm which hit the Philippines some years ago placing Metromanila and the provinces under water.  It was a Saturday I clearly remember. All PDs together with their seconds were attending a meeting called by the District which ended around 10 AM.  The rain had started early that day and refused to stop.  By the time we were out of the building some streets were already closed because it had become impassable. We tried alternate routes but to no avail.  When we finally reached our locale it was 10 PM. We had been driving around for 12 hours until somehow the rains subsided and we managed to reach our destination.

Our chapel itself was alright but the officiating minister for the Sunday worship service the next day arrived fully drenched in water.  He had to walk from Central to our locale some 10 kilometers pushing through chest deep waters. (Ministers were admirable then.)  Only a few of our members were able to attend service that day – most of their homes were still under water.  It was really a sorry state for all of us that time.  But we really have to hand it to the Filipino spirit when it comes to facing a catastrophe – they can laugh it out no matter how difficult the situation.  For example, when a large portion of a big tree had crushed the roof of a brethren’s house, the SCAN were there to attempt to remove the trunk.  A rope was tied to it and all the SCAN members pulled on it to remove the trunk. One of the SCAN who was only 4′ 5″ tall was positioned in the middle of the line. Because of his height he wasn’t pulling – he was hanging on the rope and swaying from left to right!  Shaking my head I firmly uttered, “Ben, umalis ka jan para ka lang titing wumawagay-way jan!” Everyone were in stitches by then!

PigletAfter that, we went to a deacons house located beside a river bank.  We noticed that a group of deacons all soaking wet huddled together having a big laugh.  They greeted us when we arrived.  I asked, “Mukhang masaya kayo ah, ano nangyari?” Ka Romy answered for the group, “Itong si Ka Greg (diakonong may-ari ng bahay) lumusong sa tubig ng kasagsagan ng baha.  May nakuha siyang buhay na biik pero malikot. Hinawakan niyang mabuti para hindi makapiglas.” I asked, “Saan ang biik?” “Teka bossing hindi pa tapos ang kuwento,” he answered back. “Sige, sige, tuloy mo,” I declared impatiently. “Ginawa ni Ka Greg hinawakan niyang mabuti ang biik para hindi makawala.  Ang problema may nakita siyang Johnny Walker na blue label na lumulutang-lutang papunta sa kanya.  Kung kukunin niya ang bote kelangan bitiwan ang biik.”

(For the info of our readers, Ka Greg has been a deacon for quite some time but on a ‘transient’  basis due to a ‘drinking’ problem he hasn’t quite gotten rid of.)

JWBlueEngraved_Hero“Ano ginawa niya?” I asked, looking around for the piglet? “Binitiwan niya ang biik, at inabot yong Johnny Walker.” “Nakuha ba?” I asked,  “Oo naman,” replied Ka Romy.  I asked, “Nasaan?”  “Ito,” handing over the empty bottle.  Yes, it was Johnny Walker Blue Label indeed.  “Ano, inubos niyo agad?”.  Ka Romy and the group suddenly started laughing. “Bossing, ang laman ng Johnny Walker – PATIS, ginamit lang ang bote!”

Ano pang hahanapin mo eh sa lokal na lang namin lahat ata ng diakono may konting sayad.  But I wouldn’t exchange them for anything, I love them the way they are!

(One bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label costs approximately 9,000 pesos at duty free – http://www.dfp.com.ph/node/74 against 2000 pesos for a biik ;-).)