Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I Killed a Dog

It was sunday July 5, I woke up early for a long trip with my motorcycle. I have to go to Compostela, Comval Province to update my POS System installed in a small grocery store. That day I also have to one of my close friend at the ICU of San Pedro Hospital by 4:00PM and also I have to attend a mass at 6:PM, so I have to rush.

Around 8:30 I arrived at the residence of my partner Alvin, He isn't prepared yet so I waited for him to finish packing up. He said we have to attend a mass first but then I replied we will have to be back earlier so we could attend to the afternoon mass.

9:15 my partner finished packing up and we were starting our journey. It was our second trip going there with my motorcycle so we are confident we will be having a safe ride. We both wo jackets but mine is thinner. I did not wear gloves so I will have a good grip on the throttle.

We were riding smoothly at speed ranging from 60-90 KPH. Along the way around 9:30AM I saw two dogs outside the opposite lane. They were not moving so I did not slow down and continue cruising at 80 KPH. When we reached near them, they suddenly ran across the street. In a second one of them is already in front of us. I did not have a choice it will be an accident. I did not apply brakes hoping we can pass over the dog's body and continue running smoothly. During the collision I lost handle of the bike and we crashed. I did not expect the impact would be unmanageable. The dog was quiet big or fat.

We were rolling in the paved road. I end up lying straight facing up in the right lane. I did not feel anything yet but i did not stand up. The residence near the area crowded. Someone is trying to pull me up but I refused and signed I'm okay. My partner's helmet is half-faced only so i feel nervous because he might have injuries in the head. Mine was full-face so I got no worries about my head. I asked the person what happened to my partner, and he replied he got my bag and sit on the roadside and seems okay so I was relieved.

When I stand up and removed my jacket I was shocked on the abrasions on my left arm. Then I started feeling pain on my left arm and left knee. Everything I wore was torn. My vision blurred for a while because of the intense pain. I thought I will collapsed. A couple of minutes my vision was back to normal. I told my partner "Sorry" I did not have time to avoid hitting the dog.

Someone saw the incident told us what happened to us. The dog died and the other slightly injured. He added the "tambays" got it and they will have to cook and eat it. Nobody claimed to be the owner of the dog.

The crash site was in front of a known golf course here in Davao, the Rancho Palos Verdes. The guard immediately called 911 for rescue. The guard got our names and interviewed us. Around 9:50PM the 911 emergency ambulance arrived. Again my vision blurred for a minute. The 911 rescue team conducted first aid routines to us.

I suggested to be admitted to a hospital. So the 911 Ambulance brought us to San Pedro Hospital as I requested. That choice was greatly influenced by my friend in the ICU of that hospital. I wanted to see him and know his situation. At the ambulance I called up a special friend of mine and told her what happened.

At the hospital's Emergency Room another check-up routines. The doctor checked if I can move all parts of my left arm and leg. He suggested X-Ray on my left arm to check fractures or dislocation of joints and for Alvin on his left shoulder. Luckily we got negative results. Alvin's wife arranged my admission. Alvin decided not to be admitted since he only suffered few light scars. I also called up my sister and told about my situation.

After two injections and insertion of the dextrose needle I was brought to my room. It's a semi-private room which could occupy 2 patients. I wanted to visit my friend at the ICU but it is not possible with my condition. I can't bend my left knee. My left hand hurting so bad.

The first night some officemates visited me. Despite of my suffering I managed to talk and laugh with them. When my officemates went home my special friend appeared. I'm so glad to see her. She seemed to cry as she saw my situation. She comforted me and left when I was asleep.

On the 3rd day the patient on the second bed was discharged and a new one from ICU will be transferred on that bed. I was amazed it's my friend who will be joining me in the room. I don't have to go out to the ICU to see him. He's with me in the room.

So i have all the time to talk with my friend. He can't stand or even sit. He can talk but his voice changed. He's like a person experiencing a mild stroke. I think he just need more time to rest and slowly he will recover.

On the sixth day I decided to be discharged and leave my friend there and continue diagnosis at home.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Heart of a Slave

"I made this piece for the woman I admire most"


Like a bird wandering, searching
For a seamless place to nest
Found a kingdom in the wilderness
I take a crack to humbly serve

A king and queen of congruence
Great love and respect securely binds
Blessed with a charming, smart, loving
And God-fearing princess so kind

With qualities everyone admires
My mind is filled with illusions
To serve is an immense honor
And my dreary heart rejoice

To see her completes the day
But at night is agony
As imagined things I dream
Will always remain a dream

Wish I am another kingdoms prince
With much possessions as they gained
So I could easily say what I really feel
And show how much I care

A love that is kept through the years
Shall remain like night of deep silence
To be known I have no courage
For what I have is a heart of a slave

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Penance - My First Trekking Experience (Mount Apo)

Known to be the highest peak in the Philippines, Mt. Apo has been one of the favorite destination of the mountaineers in the country. Being on the peak of it would be an extraordinary experience. I've been dreaming to reach it since I was studying here in Davao City. That dream never came to reality when I was still in college. Until the company I've been working with organized an expedition. The team is composed of 20 members. Most of us were first timers. Only 2 have experience. We hired 4 guides and 7 porters. I was doubtful we could reach the peak since we had 5 women in the group. And besides all of us don't have the appropriate preparations for the trek. As beginners we have to buy necessary things to be used for the trip. Luckily the company provides budget for the accessories needed for the expedition. Foods also are provided. In short financial aspect is not a problem at all. By the way, the Management is part of the team. Everyone was very excited for the event done during the Holy Week. It was a penance, a team building, and stress relief activity.

Because of the excitement, majority don't have a proper sleep the night before the trip. Busy preparing for the things to be carried (water container or bladder, poncho or raincoat, t-shirts(quick dry material), gloves, bonnet, sleeping bag, tent, jacket or clothes to keep you warm, food, cooking materials) , worried for the safety along the way, and doubtful of the physical condition and unexpected things that might come. In my case, I had a headache that night. I was advised by a friend not to proceed but then i did not listen. I really wanted to be on top of the country's highest peak. Hoping that the headache would eventually fade on the departure day.

Some of the member of the team slept at my residence. At 3:00 AM we woke up since 4:00 AM is out assembly time. I'm still suffering from the headache. As a motivation I took it as a challenge. The assembly area is about 1.5 Km from home. We decided to walk to from home to the assembly area(Management's Residence). With 16 Kg backpack we've been very tired as we reached to the assembly area. That moment I began to compare the short walk to the trek that will be doing to the peak of Mount Apo. It's not just a plain 1.5 km walk. We will be walking up the hills and steep contours the fact that we will go up by 2954 meters above sea level. I realized it would be tough plus the headache that i suffered it would really be a penance.

With the jeepney that we hired we arrived a Sitio Baras, Kapatagan, Digos City where the registration take place at around 7 AM. This is the registation point for the Kapatagan Trail. We were taking the Kapatagan-Kidapawan Traverse. So we enter at Kapatagan and exit to Kidapawan. Other entry and exit point for Mount Apo are Sibulan, Tamayong, Sta Cruz, Talomo, and Magpet.

During the registration bags were inspected and contents were checked. Canned goods, cup noodles, candies, chocolates, etc. are counted. It's because they wanted everyone to bring back all the trashes (cans, wrappers, plastics, etc). As the mountaineering rule goes "leave nothing but footprints". This is to preserve the mountain being free from toxic wastes. IDs were created here since each climber should be properly documented.

After we got our IDs we were transported by 4x4 multi-cabs to Mainit where trekking will start.
Temperature began to drop as we travel towards the place. At 9 AM trekking starts. Everyone was on high spirit. Unfortunately, my headache was accompanied by a toothache that time. I did not know what to do with those aches. I believed it won't just fade away by taking medicines so i decided not to take any. I just hope and prayed it will be gone as the trekking continues. But I was more disappointed as the pain is becoming more intense as i walk. The aching tooth just started aching as the trekking began. It was very disgusting. If it started earlier i would have fixed it already and won't be suffering from that pain during the climbing period. With the discomfort, I tried manage myself and endure such pains. I have to get used to it since it just can't be taken away in a snap. As I walk I ponder and think why God let me carry those pains as i climb up Mount Apo. Is it for me to really do penance? Or He doesn't wanted me to do this thing during Holy Week? Whatever it is there was no more going back. The journey has already started. In sickness and in health trekking continues as I thought. Though I doubted if I can make it, I still have the faith that God will not leave me on the journey and He will gave me the strength to pursue the trip successfully.

After 2 hours of trekking we reached Paradise. We were scheduled to have lunch on that place. The trail up to this point is the least difficult. With around 10 degrees slope majority find it trouble-free. But on my side it was really hard. I am not complaining of the walk but of the toothache. The pain was becoming intense as i exert more energy. Headache sometimes bugged me also but it isn't as painful as the toothache. I did not have my lunch at this point. I don't have the appetite. I just drink an ample water to sustain the fluid loss trough sweat. Drinking a lot of water is discourage when trekking also since water is not always available along the way. Besides, when you drink a lot of water your body becomes more heavy making it hard for you to move or walk.

Our next stop is a first camp site "Camp Godi-godi". It's around 5 hours walk from Paradise. But our facing is slow since almost all of us are beginners. We always had rest unlike the experienced mountaineers who can trek with minimal rest. Another calvary for me since pains did not leave me. In my mind those pains will be gone when we will reach the first camp site in which i can have rest and a good sleep. Some members at this point were about to surrender. We were not used to this kind of activity. Others were very exhausted. But our boss never wanted anyone to give up. We should finish the trip together. I never thought of going back though. It was nice to see grasses and trees along the way. It was my pain reliever as I try to load up my mind with the appreciation of nature to neglect the pain. With hurting head and tooth I walked faster so i could reach the camp site earlier and have an early rest. I overtook the leadpack who lead the team. He warned me that I might take the wrong path and He advised me stop when I am in doubt which way to take. Actually wrong paths have signs placed like a blocking post so I believed I won't be lost unless if other climbers altered them. But climbers don't do that stupidity. Around 1:00 PM I took my lunch. I sat on a lying log at the same time waiting for my teammates. As I ate throbbing of my tooth intensed. I have to endure the pain since I should have to fill up my empty stomach. When I am about to finish my lunch two teammates came. One offered medicines. I doubt if those tablets and capsules would relieve me but I decided to take them. After taking the medicines others came. They rested there also and we waited for them to catch their breaths. That time I am hoping that the medicines would bring me miracles.

The leadpack told us that we can't reach the designated camp site. We have to have our 1st night at their emergency campsite. In that case our team will be apart with the other trekkers. The leadpack added that camp site is for VIPs. After 3 hours of crossing lying logs, muddy soil and a steep creek we reached the emergency campsite. Immediately we put up our tents. There were 6 tents for the group excluding the porters and the guides. A whole night rest at last. I forgot the aching tooth and head. It seems I get used to them.

 be continued