Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What's wrong with my heart?

Yesterday I had a CT angiography at the Davao Doctor's Hospital. My cardiologist had asked me to go through this high tech procedure to find out definitely if I really have atherosclerosis and myocardial ischemia as the stress test had reported. This morning I got the result of the angiography and discussed it with the doctor. So, I tested positive. While my heart is strong, the arteries that deliver blood and oxygen to the heart have become narrow due to the plaques and the cholesterol deposit. My only consolation is that although I may occasionally experience angina, the risk of heart attack is not too high.

The doctor has prescribed cholesterol lowering drugs (lipitor) and some multivitamins. He also urged me to continue my diet and exercise program. I will go another stress test after six months to see if the ischemia will still be there.

So my marathon comeback is on hold. I am not sure if my "Bike for Life and Peace Around the Philippines" will push through this summer.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Attending a golden jubilee of ordination, losing my mountain bike

Last Thursday afternoon, after seeing my cardiologist, I rode the Honday 125 XS motorbike all the way to Iligan to attend the golden anniversary of ordination of Fr. Ramon Fruto. It was an eight hour drive across the mountains of Davao and Bukidnon. Last December it took me 2 1/2 days of pedaling to cover this distance by mountain bike.

There were over five hundred guest for Fr. Ramon's jubilee celebration which was held last Friday evening. Two bishops (Cabajar and Galido) graced the occasion. I made it a point to attend this celebration because Fr. Ramon has been my mentor. He was the director of St. Alphonsus' Seminary when I entered in 1968. He was my novice-master in Lipa in 1976. He was our prefect when I was a theology student in Davao in 1977. After my pastoral year, he was my superior in Iligan in 1982. We were together in the missions in Jimenez and Hinatuan, Surigao. He was also my vice-provincial superior who sent me for higher studies in Berkely and Rome, in 1989-1995. We were together in Davao in 2004 - and I took over as parish priest when he was appointed as apostolic administrator of the diocese of Iligan. Seeing him celebrate 50 years of ordination is very inspiring. I imagined myself celebrating my golden jubilee 24 years from now.

Last night, I also had dinner with my sisters (Noni, Inday, Mely) and their families to celebrate our late father's birthday and the 55th wedding anniversary of our parents.

I came back to Davao this afternoon. The first news that greeted mye was that my mountain bike had been stolen. It was the mountain bike that I used to bike around Mindanao last summer and the bike that I used when I went home to Iligan after Christmas 2006. I felt sad, but I took the news stoically. No need to get depressed over it. I hope I will get a new one this Christmas. Meanwhile, I will just run and train for the marathon. Actually, I still have a road bike that I can use - but I will miss biking in the mountains and rough trails. I need a mountain bike when I bike for peace around the Philippines in the near future.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

World Environment Day - The Struggle Continues

This morning I joined the interfaith prayer rally to celebrate the World Environment Day. The prayer rally was held in front of the hall of justice and was attended by various religious groups - Catholics, Protestants, Quiboloy's Sonshine movement, Ananda Marga. After the prayer rally we went inside the hall of justice where a hearing was conducted. The Philippine Banana Growers Association (PBGA) has filed a case against the local government for passing an ordinance banning the Aerial Spraying in Davao.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Reunion of Class 1971

I just came back from Cebu where attended a class reunion. Thirty-six years ago (1971) there were 22 seminarians who graduated from high school in St. Alphonsus' Minor Seminary. The class theme song was "The first of May" which was popularized by Jose Feliciano. We had our first reunion on May 1, 1980, when we were just entering adulthood - most of us were 26 years old then. We gathered this time, past midlife (most of us are now 53 years old). We found it difficult to recognize each other - some have grey hair, others have lost their hair, many have put on weight. Even those who have migrated to the U.S., Canada, England and Bangkok, came home to attend the reunion. It was supposed to be four day- affair, starting on May 30, but I came late because I was in Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat, giving a seminar on Christology, Ecclesiology and BEC. I'm glad I was able to attend the last two days because we spent our time in reminiscing about the good old days and sharing with one another our life-journey. We had a concelebrated mass and special dinner on the evening of June 2. Out of the 22 who graduated, only three were ordained priests. We agreed that we will have our next reunion 11 years from now when we will be 64 years old. The theme song this time is a song by the Beatles - "When I'm Sixty Four." By then we will be senior citizens.