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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I usually don't like to travel far from the beaten path. The path being the ones I usually haunt not far from home. Travelling far usually entails a lot of traffic jams, overcrowded transportation, the heat, and other what-have-yous that make commuting such a drag. But when a good friend from college called me saying he's confined in the hospital for reasons unknown I know I can't not visit. It's been an awful long time since I last commuted to Manila so what I thought to be a faster travel time due to the commuter trains turned out to be the same as the time I could have spent if I travelled there by jeep. I even overshot the route by a good 20 minutes and Php 6.00 more. I only noticed the difference on the way back.

My friend was confined at the Chinese General Hospital in the middle of nowhere (it's nowhere when you're living at the far end of the Metro and you never experienced going there without a car). I had to dig real deep about what I know to get there, none of the people here in our house have any clue so it was useless to ask them about it. The good thing was that on the jeep I took near the street that was used to be called Gov. Forbes I found out out where Dansalan Street is located (this is useful to know in case you want to buy the same flowers you see in shops in and around the malls for less than the price they're selling it. Way, way less) and also I now know how to go to the North Cemetery just in case anybody needs to see the final resting place of our Revolutionary heroes from the late 1800s (and prolly former President Ramon Magsaysay who I'm sure is also buried there near the gates). When I finally arrived at the place I inquired his room number from the Information booth by the door and proceeded to take the elevator. When I got inside the room the first thing I noticed were the extra baggages lumped together in one corner of the room near the foot of his bed. His sister informed his mom that he was now able to eat compared to the last few days of his stay. He didn't talk much and the few times times that he did talk were barely audible but that's how he usually is either at his house or whenever there are relatives around. Nobody, as yet, knows the reason for his high fever and bum stomach but I know it was because of the stress in his work. The big stupid oaf was too accomodating for his own good as he also took on the work loads of his officemates, probably to gain their acceptance. You know how office politics work.

I stayed a good hour and a half promising to come back and visit him again (but for reasons that I have to see the final resting place of the Philippine Revolutionaries in the next door cemetery). I told him I'd come back on Saturday as he's not sure when he'll be leaving the hospital anyway. After that I went to Makati to get my check from the office of Philippine News. Seeing my good friend like that in the hospital was such a downer for me I have to go out later and get it off my mind. I just hope I have the will to commute back to Manila on Saturday. We'll see how it turns out later this week.

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