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12 May 2018

EPITAPH : Virginia Somonod-Toledo (1953-2018)

VIRGIE TOLEDO stared at me with mock annoyance, her arched eyebrows ready to fly out of her stern face and zap me. "Ano? Apat na taon kang nasa Israel, wala ka pa ring asawa? (What? You spent four years in Israel, and you're still unmarried?)" We were seated in the capacious living room of a mutual friend in Phnom Penh, and we were meeting for the first time since I left Manila four years earlier. "Virge, wala ka kasing clone, kaya single pa ako (You have no clone, that's why)", I retorted. She bellowed forth that laughter I so missed, then dabbed tears off her eyes. If there was someone I could drive to tears of laughter, it was Virgie.

Bell's Palsy, six months later

CHANGE IS constant in life, and so is goodness if you will it. Bell's Palsy is now slowly ebbing away, six months after engulfing me with unwelcome affection. As it ebbed, it is leaving behind new sensations. I can't fully smile anymore. The right side of face twitches by itself. There is always a sense of thickness on the right cheek. Fortunately (and unfortunately for Mr. Palsy), I have the big chunk of my face back, and so is my laughter. Nothing can ever change such goodness. That's constant.