Filters in development

A year and some few hours ago, I was an ophtha duty clerk in The Medical City. In between seeing patients and scaring ourselves over the supposed haunting of the eye center, I received and responded to messages on Tita Beng’s stay in the ICU at a different hospital. It was frustrating. It felt futile. When I heard the news of her passing past midnight, I cried my heart out in the second floor guest washroom, so still I didn’t even trigger the motion-activated lights. It was deep into the night. No one else came in.

The end of her suffering felt like the start of a long grief. It’s a balance of thanking she was at rest and regretting the moments that she would now always miss. I don’t know how it would have been like for her to be with us here, physically, through the year 2020 and all its challenges. We can’t compare experiences but there’s another layer of sadness to seeing the grief of others; she was a mom, she was my mom’s best friend.

Today I had the privilege of being called to an online zoom stage for an unexpected academic award. Top 5 in the batch, met somehow through the rigors of clerkship. Last night all I could think about were the negative spaces around that long year. Not yet a licensed doctor, not yet a specialist. Opinions just slightly more informed but not enough to cure a loved one or to console the living. Old enough to assist in surgeries but not to prescribe the next course of action. Missed birthday dinners and vague online consultations at 2AM. A debate tournament, an art fair, a life in the great outdoors. The silhouette of a butterfly flapping its wings.

I baked some croissants for the first time today; my friends were too far away to try it. We all must have gone through this stage or a cousin of it. Life goes on. Above all shadows still rides the sun.

Log: 14/Sept/2020
Filters in development
Posted originally at

I’ll remember her best for her compassion, the tea parties she hosted, her opinionated self. A remembrance post from one year ago.
In an entirely surprising turn of events, I made it to my batch’s top 5 in academic standing. My mother bought a cake to remember my tita and to celebrate my achievement. What an odd day.

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