Friday, July 31, 2009

Did you Know that two of the Nursing board exam passers from Saint Tonis are…


…my friends? Now, I call them my fellow artifacts from the 1980’s. Melanie Balbino and Lea Ganongan, the two passers I’m referring to, can again content themselves with the thought that they have added yet another feather in their caps which, figuratively may be sagging already on the sides since there are too many feathers that they have amassed year-in, year-out in whatever areas they have chosen to be expert at.
Along with Flerida Almora and Roger Abbacan, they have just made history for Saint Tonis, our province’s pioneering school of nursing, by passing the PRC licensure exams. Needles to say, their feat will most likely break the adamant attitude of parents with regards to choosing Saint Tonis as the nursing school of their choice.
This impressive performance gives Saint Tonis a 100% passing rate – which can be determined by setting the number of passers as numerator above the number of examinees.
We now see a dramatic rise in enrollment next year – or even this second sem. Enough reason for Mrs. Presentacion Bartolo to be in good mood these days.
*****
I have always thought Melanie and Lea would pass the exams though. I should know, we were classmates and friends from elementary up to 4th year high school – and still remain to be friends, of course.
I have always asked them their true intent in pursuing BSNursing, but I never got their real answers. Maybe it is their need for self-actualization; maybe it is their sincere search for more knowledge (ouch, I don’t buy that since both of them are voracious readers); maybe they want to go abroad (hmmm… medyo nasirig kun sa); maybe they want to become Barangay Health Workers and feel the real spirit of public service; maybe they had become tired of staring at their old college diplomas, and felt that it’s time to add another.
Yes. Melanie Balbino is a licensed chemical engineer, a title which – with due respect to the nursing profession – far outweighs her latest label. She earned the degree from St. Louis University in Baguio City, the same school where Lea Ganongan completed her bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Lea’s degree understandably pulled her to the academe where she tried her hands on teaching amid her dalliance with the further study of law.
While Lea was teaching in the academe, Engr. Balbino entertained the idea that she is a businesswoman – and so she put up her own shop which drew people with all sorts of need for computer-related matters. Voila, she prospered! The Chemical Engineer, it turned out, has a silent degree in Commerce – much like Letty June Lugtu-Bides who, after earning her degree in Medical Technology, decided that lab gown is not her thing. Bridal and evening gown gayam ti paglaingan na.
And so Melanie and Lea spent most of their after-college years here in good old Tabuk when they could have been earning millions elsewhere. Maybe this can be explained by our being members of the generation which has been full of existential angst in the 1990s – thus freezing our go-getting tendency.
Then Saint Tonis opened its school of nursing, and my friends woke up one day with that burning desire which must be satisfied at all costs. There must have been a lull, until one of them tried the waters and said “Agenroll tayo?”
And the rest, as the cliché goes, is history. In the pages of Saint Tonis College, that is.
Congratulations again to our four passers! As for the other graduates who opted not to take the June exams, you have our best wishes!
*****
The following article is supposed to fill this column this week, as my closing salvo for the Guru month-long anniversary this July, but I had to quickly relegate it under the foregoing piece, before I lose such thoughts…. Here goes:
It was in the 6th grade when I entertained the thought of becoming a writer in the future. As I sat dreamy-eyed and listened to Ms. Gertrude Lastimoza transport us from that Section Eagle classroom to faraway lands through stories that she spiritedly read aloud, I started to believe that I, too, would one day write stories that would have as great an impact on young minds as Ms. Lastimoza’s selections had on me. I entertained the idea that writers are of a different breed, and that I had what it takes to join their club.
I thought I would be weaving tales of heroism, stories of friendship, of love, of people accomplishing wonderful things, and depiction of good that triumphs over evil. Stories that reflect the world as I knew it then – bright, colorful, breezy, with clouds fleeting across grassy hills where children run after rabbits.
Time flew and those stories were never written. I got older, went to college, landed a job at the government sector, got strapped to it for life, and I lost the dream. But that’s how it is during childhood. We weave dreams. We stuff our heads with out-of-this world fantasies. We cast a future that does not have a single element of pain, suffering, heartache.
When young, we have the tendency to bloat our egos, to entertain the thought that we are the best among our peers and that such excellence would bring us someday to that exact spot which we have set our eyes on.
Then as we grow older, chunks and chunks of reality creep in. We gradually realize that we really know nothing… that, individually, we are nothing. An inconsequential dot in this immeasurable universe. A small block, which when discarded, won’t affect the whole structure, since there are millions who can always take any vacated space. And who might even do a better job in filling that space previously occupied.
Now these are negatively tinged thoughts. Black and dreary, when I should be painting this column with bright and vivid thoughts, in honor of this paper’s 5th year anniversary.
Where was I?
Ah… I was saying that I got older. Oh yes, there are moments when The Muse remembers to amble by and attempt to awaken that dormant desire to write “that story”. Words rush out of the lexical factory somewhere in the mind, and an effort to put them down on paper is made – but after awhile, this gushing-out of words breaks off. And I find myself marooned at the 2nd sentence of the 3rd paragraph.
Perhaps I was never really cut out to be a story teller. I filled my head with too many ideas – and I blindly believed them. Now it’s time to drop the thought, to discard the fantasy.
*****
So I became a reader instead. I realized that if I cannot join the world of such illustrious literary names, at least I can loiter into their territories by consuming the contents of their heads which have miraculously spilled onto the pages of books. From time to time, I find myself thinking “Damn, why haven’t I thought of this plot?” or “I was formulating exactly the same premise last month! This Carl Sagan stole my ideas!”
Of course, when such thought occurs, an imaginary cane bashes me in the head, and I suddenly drop the book so that I may regain my bearing, and set my feet back on the ground.
Daydreaming never hurt anyone, though. Besides, I am sort of a writer – uray kaskasanu met ah. I laboriously gather my thoughts together every week, face my laptop, position my fingers on the keyboard, stare at the screen as the fingers seem to have a mind of their own and start accomplishing a piece which soon finds itself plastered in a box named Perspectives on page 4 of a community newspaper known as Guru. An output that remains un-read when the paper finally hits the stands and got delivered to subscribers. I have this gnawing feeling that all other sections are digested by readers – but page 4… well, readers leaf through it, look at that smirking face in the column head, read the title, roll their eyes and move to page 5. But before reading the contents of page 5, a reader may glance at my title again and whisper “Adu la amin.”
A-hah, agurayka… One day, I believe, I would run into someone and as she recognizes me, she (let’s stick with “she” this time okay? Makabannug ti “he or she” nga ikabkabil just so we could cover both genders) – yes, she would say “Hey, you’re Mr. Paroy right? You’re the college instructor who also writes for Guru. I also read your column, you know.”
With a lingering doubt in me, I question her “You actually read it? Which topic have you liked so far?”
“Ha…? Well, that one about…about… Diay kua ngay…” Perhaps she would look for a way out around her. “Anya ngamin didiayen…mmmm, kua…”
I shall not torture her, of course. I may have walked away by the time she opens her eyes and stopped conjuring fabrications that would never turn up.
Then I may hear her shouting behind me “Diay panggep ti biag!”
Yeah, yeah…Life.

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