Friday, September 20, 2002


riding with reb

My little sister, Reb, (who's not so little now) came over to drive us to the hospital. Given the pedia's odd schedule, we had to go the hospital along Aurora Blvd where she was practicing. She said she'd only be there until noon. Before we left, Bren, Sage's 3 year-old paramour, came over to offer his girlfriend some company and more food. I thanked him and told him she was ill and that we'd be back soon. We set out and promptly got ensnared in traffic. While trapped in the unmoving sea of cars, Reb told us about her recent trip to Sweden, Denmark and Thailand. We also reminisced about the incident that prompted a teary-eyed phone call from her in London to me in Hong Kong. She was at an internet cafe and these bozos started throwing tissue paper at her, calling her "Asian Girl". She stood her ground and gave the group a piece of her mind. You'll see the entire tale when it gets published (yes, I used my sister's travails, to her amusement). Like many others of late, she's thinking about moving to Australia.


When noon came and we were nowhere near the hospital, we decided to head back to Clinica Manila in the Ortigas Center and consult with any available pediatrician. On the long trip there, Sage comported herself in a ladylike manner despite her discomfort - what a trooper. We got there and immediately they told us that Sage had to be nebulized. So, with the assistance of a kind nurse, she breathed in the fumes with a minimum of complaint. Nikki and I were praying she didn't have asthma (a distinct possibility since both of us are asthmatic). After Sage was checked again, the doctor gave her some medicine and told us that it was most likely that our little girl was suffering from bronchitis - either the viral one (that disappears after a few days) or the bacterial one (that requires antibiotics). At least now we know what ails her and can give her the proper care and medication. We hope of course that it's the viral kind. We got her medicines and funky fever patches.

nebulizer needed

We were also told to go get her a nebulizer to help her breathe better. The thing costs an arm and a leg, but what can you do, right? I am hoping someone can lend us one for a while. Someone? Anyone?

my sisters love me

On our way back, we stopped by the house of my youth and picked up the food my mother had prepared for us - the aforementioned sugpo, caldereta with chorizo, sauteed veggies and an additional surprise - apple, lychee and apricot fruit salad. So stocked, Reb brought us home. Then her twin, Jo (who's in med school), calls up and offers to drop by tomorrow with her equipment to check up on Sage. Maureen, of course, earlier offered anything within her ability to help. I was so touched by their actions and thanked them. Reb smiled and said, "Manong, it's okay. We're happy to help. First of all, you're our brother. Second, do you remember the times you used to drive us around? You'd pick us up from school or practice or swimming or parties in your Datsun. And on weekends, you'd take us out to museums or parks and treat us to merienda. We'll never forget all of that." I felt suddenly so old, so proud, so parental. I am so used to being the one who does everything for myself or for others, that acts of kindness truly catch me by surprise. The cynic in me is caught off-guard and rendered speechless. Ain't love grand? Thank you Reb, Jo and Maureen. And of course, thanks to my mother too. And Sage's wonderful nanny, Diovine, who goes beyond the call of duty in taking care of the baby.

no friday outing

We're staying home tonight with the baby, foregoing our usual Friday night with our creative friends. Mike and Dino, two of Sage's godparents, offered help and sympathy, which truly means a lot to us. Thank you also, Camille, for your prayers. What this means is that our nuclear family gets to watch the delayed telecast of Survivor: Thailand. It's true. We're unabashed addicts. And damn proud of it.


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