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Liza succumbed to kidney failure
Big red rooster
Liza then and now
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Born in the midst of poverty
JUST like Rene, her elder brother, Liza saw the first light of day while we were still under the care and support of my biological parents and in-laws. Living together with two of my younger brothers and two sisters, a nephew and a niece, we were housed in a rented shack owned by Serafin, an ex-boxer who walked with a Chinese step, in Gallera Patag, Catbalogan. When night came and time for bed, we were quite a sight to behold; we were packed sardine-like.
Thanks to Mana Conching, the local hilot
Always wanting in food and money, we were in a quandary where to go that day when Tita felt the pangs of giving birth to Liza. Indeed, we felt itchiness all over our bodies but don't know which and where to scratch them. We scoured the vicinity for a possible hilot and, luckily, after a tedious search, concerned neighbors informed us of one, a certain Mana Conching. That Tuesday- the 13th day of November, 1962, Tita delivered a bouncing baby girl with the able assistance of Mana Conching.
"I could be blamed ..."
I was still in college, penniless and obviously brushed aside the option of having my wife delivered her baby in the hospital. But later on, I came to realize that the option I took was wrong. Had something bad happened during and after Tita's delivery, nobody could be blamed but me. Despite the problems, everything turned out fine. Thanks God for the safe and successful delivery. Both mother and child survived the ordeal fine.
Red rooster was stolen
Much to our dismay, when it was time to cook rice for supper, we found only a gatasan [300 ml empty milk can] of rice in the bin no more no less. And to add insult to injury, the big bukol [rooster] which we were planning to dress and cook during Tita's parigos or initial bath followed by a mini-thanksgiving party days after her delivery, was stolen just hours before her delivery.
Liza's broken home
Liza who is by now, 47, and her family of five members, has what we call a broken home. Liza herself and her husband, Oscar have strayed too far away from their supposed roles as good models. Liza can't manage a sound budget of her monthly salary as Assistant Local Civil Registrar. Indulging too much in mahjong, she's always neck-deep in debt. She can't make both ends met. How can she? She subsists on 'selling' her receivables. It simply means she sells her up and coming salaries and other monetary receivables to loan sharks at greatly reduced amount.
$64 dollar question
Her husband devotes more time and service to his gamecocks and to the cockpit arena than to his family. Liza's children 2 boys and a girl are not doing well in their studies.
In totality, Liza's family is as poor as a rat. What food to eat for their next meal is a $64 question.
There is hope
Is Liza's fate already sealed? Is her family's fate the realization of an ominous bad fortune to be suffered for life by those who were born on a Tuesday and on the 13th as believed by some. I don't think so. Liza and her family can as much as possible rise themselves up from the quagmire of poverty to a life of plenty. As long as the sun shines there is hope. They must learn lessons from their past mistakes. They must rebuild and replan priorities for the good of their future. They should make their lives pleasant and enjoyable. No doubt they can make it by themselves with the help of Almighty God.
Learn to identify negatives and forget them
Negative urges emanates in the mind. Once Satan is in control of them, it will be your downfall. He will lead you to perdition. If the goal is accumulation of wealth and power, it is advised that you control your emotions and urges by strictly implementing the do's rather than the don'ts. If smoking cigarettes is expensive and hazardous, cut the habit right at once. If playing mahjong doesn't add something to the family's coffer, why not quit playing the game for good.
Learn to say no to bad things
Whenver the inner urge is kind of bad, say a resounding 'no' to yourself. Let no one dominate your lifestyle or better still, turn the table upside down by you dominating them with good intentions rather than the other way around.
Liza's family and others interested may take heed from the foregoing gems of thought.
Oscar's final hour
About 6 p.m. on September 18, 2011, Liza received a bad news from her son Rocky who was with Oscar in Arayat, Pampanga that Oscar while in the toilet suffered a fatal stroke which was beyond recovery. After all the death requirements, Oscar's remains was transported to Tacloban City from Manila and brought to Catbalogan City via a funeral car where it remained opened for relatives and friends at St. Peter's Life Plan Funeral Parlor for 9 days. Finally, on October 2, 2011, Oscar's body was entered in the Radomes Mausoleum at Paranas cemetery some 23 km south of the city with appropriate funeral entourage and rites.
Oscar and son Rocky were caretakers at Melvin Japzon's poultry farm in Pampanga.
Liza's battle with kidney disease
Signs such as bad cough and enlarged legs prompted Liza to see in Tacloban City sometime in May 2013 Dr. Del Pilar, who endorsed her to a kidney specialist also based in Tacloban Dr. Salinas. Liza as directed went to Tacloban on May 22, 2013 to consult Dr. Salinas who advised her to undergo dialysis for her kidneys were already on stage 5 and were not functioning normally.
With all the monetary support we could muster, Liza's scheduling for dialysis were arranged once per week beginning May all in the city of Tacloban. She endured the pains of undergoing dialysis the next month of June until the first week of February, 2014, an agonizing period of almost 10 months. Finally, on February 15, on the way home, after her last dialysis done at RTR University Hospital, Liza gave up life in Nicky's Multitrac without any word of parting.
She was still alive upon reaching Buray, Paranas where she ate a slice of mango fruit and sip water. Passing by Paranas cemetery which is 23 km to their final way home in Bliss, Catbalogan, Samar, Liza's spirit could have elected to join her husband Oscar, said Daday who was in the trip with her. Liza reached home already cold and lifeless. A doctor pronounced her DOA.