The first time I met you, I never really thought you were a doctor. You barged into the session hall while, if I’m not mistaken, we were having our orientation and courtesy call to the Mayor as RNheals. I was actually a bit ‘kilig’ like a teenage girl ’cause I thought to myself, “May gwapo sa RHU, ang saya!” You think it was just me? Nah. My mother told me later in the day (she saw you, too), “Tin, may gwapong doctor sa RHU!” Then, I giggled like a kid.
I witnessed how you enjoyed what you were doing and how you won every heart in the unit. You were easy to talk to, jolly and always in trend. You would joke around and always had that smiling face that could light up even a room full of sh*t. You were always calm and would lend us your Wifi password so we could look into our Facebook (and me, Instagram) account. There were never dull moments with you.
As you already knew, though Apalit is a first class Municipality, a lot of us could not afford a Private Family Doctor but we AFFORDED you with a plastic bag full of crabs, shrimps, fishes, home-cooked foods, fruits, vegetables and whatever the Apaliteños harvested in their backyards or farm.
You were there (on call) while Tito Apol was in the ICU, battling for his life.
You were there for my grandfather when he needed some help.
You were there for my mother before she had her Cholecystectomy.
You were there for me when I first had my mild Hypertension and I vented it to you over Messenger, and you told me, “Dagdagan mo ang fluid intake mo kasi kaya tumaas ang BP mo dahil nagko-compensate ang heart mo dahil sa dehydration,” despite you going thru the most difficult time of your life as well.
You were there for every Apaliteño from 2012 to 2016, in sickness and in health.
I have heard how your mind was never the same after you woke up in coma after the operation and I am not sure if they will believe me when I say I never noticed the change. I cannot rate our closeness and I do not even know why I am writing this but I want people to have an idea of who you were in my eyes.
You were one of the witnesses of how my friendship with Derek Ramsay started (that he doesn’t know of). You were the only person who fondly tease me ‘Mrs. Ramsay’ or ‘Kristine Reyes’. You were cool enough to give in to our whims and had your picture taken with two of my fellow RNheals where you posed as Derek in RHU I’s version of ‘No Other Woman’. You were one of my constant likers in Facebook especially if my post is about the Holy Scripture.
After your recovery, I hesitated so many times to ask you about medical questions because I didn’t want to trigger your headache caused by too much thinking, but still I failed not to disturb you because you were the only person who I could easily talk to back then. Unlike what I heard (that you’ve become a little moody or something), you were always there to answer my queries, though you could have told me, “Tigilan mo na ang kakatanong sa akin!” And I would have understood. We never saw each other again but you were one of the constant people in my life in Facebook.
Few months ago (before everything went bad) you would randomly send me emoticons and messages like, “Wala ako balance. I keep falling over. ‘Til I met you,time na ata.” And, last September 4, I greeted you “Happy Friendversary” because that was when we became friends in Facebook four years ago & the next day you wanted me to post it in your wall but I could not find it anymore in Facebook Memories, so, I greeted you on your wall instead.
Like what you posted on July 21, 2016 in Instagram, “Sometimes the simplest ‘thank you’ can make my day.” That’s indeed what we can repay you for the compassion you’ve shown us, Apaliteños.
From your own words I quote, “Thank you. I love working with you guys.”
We definitely loved working with you, too. Thank you for the good times, the friendship & for all the help. Your life on earth was short-lived but definitely worth-while.
You can now finally rest in Paradise.
Til we meet again, Doc Pogi.
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” – Philippians 1:21 (NIV)