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How ‘Manong Sikyo’ Saved My Life and Other Ramblings

21.February.2011

Yes. Manong Sikyo (Mr. Security Guard) saved my life, all out of the kindness of his heart—the very root of his willingness to trust and say ‘yes’ to a complete stranger.

Late in the afternoon last Friday, I was on my way to Los Baños (LB) to get my annual, overnight dose of the University of the Philippines’ February Fair and to see friends sorely missed, when my digestive system sent a mayday to my brain just as the bus that I was on got off the last ramp of South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and into Calamba City proper.

The message was unmistakable: Get your ass on a toilet bowl, pronto.

Now, Los Baños is about thirty minutes from SLEX—IF traffic from Calamba to LB is at a bare minimum. It was a Friday, so traffic was at its worst.

(I so hate it when my tummy messes with me and keeps me from having a perfectly good time. Note to self: never go on a road trip without having a bowel movement within a few hours before leaving the house.)

With the air conditioning of the bus at full blast and my destination a good one hour away, I made a valiant effort with every ounce of strength in my body and soul to control the urge and avoid the seemingly inevitable.

There were moments when I had this out-of-body experience, where my consciousness left my body to go somewhere else—it was as if my body distracted itself from the agony it was feeling. And though I’m definitely not new to this type of struggle (I’m sure we’ve all had our fair share of moments like this), the battle between mind and matter that I currently found myself in was on a league of its own.

I remember thinking: Dear Lord, I had to keep it in, at least until I get to LB—where I can turn to my former dorm (a place I used to call home away from home), which is a perfectly decent place where I can answer nature’s call with a great deal of comfort.

Alas, even though I managed to hold off the revolution for maybe ten, fifteen minutes, I felt the urge just about to overwhelm my weakening control. My life flashed before my eyes and I felt that excruciating, shooting pain associated with the onslaught of poo with a vengeance. I imagined I was a pregnant woman with the baby coming. I knew I had to do something. And fast.

So I did the only thing I could do. I got off the bus before my stop, not worrying about whether or not I could find a kind-hearted soul who would let me use their restroom.

As I hurriedly got out of the bus (I distinctly remember thinking, as I noticed the other passengers looking around and getting cautious, that maybe they thought I had planted a bomb somewhere on the bus and that was why I had to get off immediately), I steeled myself for the next step: asking begging ANYONE, if I could use their restroom.

Luckily for me, I got out right in front of two establishments: one had a motel look and feel to it, while the other was some sort of Korean lodge/restaurant. So I decided to ask Manong Sikyo of the motelsy place if they had a restroom I could use. He decided to play Twenty Questions. Like I had the time to burn. This was our exchange (that I vividly remember because of the heightened state I was in at the time):

Me: Sir, mawalang-galang na ho. May banyo ho ba kayo jan na pwede kong gamitin? Sana ho yung may malinis tubig.

[Sir, excuse me. Is there a restroom here that I could use? So long as it has clean water.]

Manong Sikyo of Motelsy Place (MSMP): Ano ho gagawin niyo, ser?

[What do you intend to do, sir?]

Me: *rubbed my tummy to indicate that my stomach is the problem, not my bladder*

MSMP: Naku, nirerenovate ho kasi yung mga banyo jan sa loob e.

[I’m very sorry. The restrooms inside are being renovated.]

(As if all the restrooms in the whole place were being renovated all at the same time.)

Me: Sige na ho, ser. Wala ho talaga?

[Please, sir. There isn’t one restroom I could use?]

MSMP: Pasensya na po.

[I’m very sorry.]

Me: Sige po, salamat.

[All right. Thanks, anyway.]

Obviously, this particular Manong Sikyo didn’t save my life. But Manong Sikyo from the Korean lodge/resto sure did. After being denied the first time, I walked to the Korean lodge/resto to ask to use their restroom. Their Manong Sikyo stood by the gate. Our conversation:

Me: Sir, mawalang-galang na ho. May banyo ho kayo jan? Baka sakaling pwede ho ako maki-gamit?

[Sir, excuse me. Do you have a restroom here that I could use?]

Manong Sikyo of Korean Lodge (MSKL): *after looking at me from head to toe* Meron ho. Pasok kayo, tapos jan sa bandang kaliwa.

[Yes we do. Through here, and to the left.]

Me: Maraming salamat po.

[Thanks a lot.]

MSKL: Sige ho. Tuloy kayo.

[Go ahead. Please, come in.]

I went in and found the door with the restroom sign. I rushed inside with no idea what to expect.

It wasn’t the best restroom I’ve ever used (though I can’t be sure, since the darn place wasn’t well-lit), but at least there was clean water and toilet paper, there were hooks on the cubicle door where I hung my pants and my backpack, and the toilet bowl was decent and clean enough (at least to my eyes in the semidarkness)—with a comfortable toilet seat and a perfectly functioning flush.

This is the part where I’ll spare you the details of whatever happened in that restroom. Let’s just say it was a huge success and leave it at that. 😆

When I was heading out of the Korean lodge, Manong Sikyo was nowhere in sight. And because I had no idea what I could do to thank him, I decided to just leave and let “maraming salamat po” stand as the last words I said to him.

I caught a jeep going to LB and got there by six in the evening. I went straight to my former dorm to meet up with Trish (my friend whom I met with in SM Mega Mall a month ago), got to see AI and Mr. Jacob Lusk’s incredible Hollywood solo audition (see below). In the middle of AI, Lulu (my instructor professor friend whom I consider as the ate [big sister] I never had) texted me that she was at the Fair, so Trish and I left the dorm to meet up with her.

When I told Lulu about my “earlier experience” and that I could still feel little shooting pains in my tummy, she recommended I get a dose of this badass anti-diarrheal called Hidrasec® (a capsule costs PhP31), you know, to help me last the rest of the night without further incident. I took it on an empty stomach, had dinner and lots of other food afterwards. Thankfully, I was able to enjoy the Fair as much as I could, the night passed, and I got back home the morning after without as much as a warning fart. So, thanks a lot, Hidrasec®. And Love (KM Epino), for keeping me company and for providing my heart and legs with a lot of exercise (we strolled around the Fair for the longest time).

Now, I look back and see the whole “experience” as a lesson about not pushing the deal when you have second thoughts and doubts from the get-go, and that there really are innumerable good people in the world, even if the worldwide consensus is that the entire human race is heading downhill towards a re-enactment of the Middle Ages.

Manong Sikyo, whatever your real name is and wherever you are right now, I offer you my sincerest thanks and a prayer that God repays you for the kindness you graciously extended to me. Though you will probably never know, I still intend to pay it forward.

From now on, my first response to a stranger in need is to think long and hard if I am able to do anything at all to help. And if there is actually something I could do, I will no longer make excuses—I’ll do what I can to provide the person with the help s/he desperately needs.

* * *

Survivor is back! I can’t help but notice that Redemption Island (Survivor‘s 22nd season) is pretty babe-heavy. Not that I’m complaining. 😉

Also, I’m impressed that Boston Rob and Russell don’t have immunity up to the merge, contrary to all the rumors swirling around while the show was on hiatus. That (plus the babes, of course) will keep me glued to the screen, since it’d be very interesting to see if, when, and how their tribemates turn on them and vote them off.

* * *

Oh my goodness. Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake “High Griffinition” Griffin hit his head on the backboard!

Don’t worry, the backboard’s fine. BG’s doing well, too. At least we now know that the backboard padding actually has a purpose. 😆

For the record, I don’t see what the commentator said, that BG used Anthony Tolliver as a springboard for him to get that high. BG was going to hit the backboard with or without Tolliver there. It just so happened that Tolliver was in front of him and it’s clear that BG had to shove him aside so he could land safely. And the offensive foul called (and the subsequent technical) on BG is a load of bull.

Also, congratulations are in order for Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, for becoming the first player in NBA history to have more than 50 double-doubles before the All-Star break. Talk about consistency.

* * *

Birthdays galore this past week! Cousin Rach, Papa Bibs, former dormmates Raffy and Ella R., and Danica “D” Pantaleon.

Have a good one, guys! Cheers! 🙂

* * *

This is so not cool, and leave it at that.

* * *

If you’re not into AI (American Idol) and you didn’t see the most recent episode (or if you’re a fan but you didn’t get to watch the solo Hollywood auditions last week), you really need to take the time (all of two minutes) to see this one audition: a soulful rendition of “God Bless the Child” by Jacob Lusk.

It’s like Lusk’s audition reached down and touched a part of my soul that hasn’t been touched by any other musical performance in a long while. And by the time he got to that high note at the end, my eyes welled up with tears, and I would’ve sobbed right then and there (because I’m a complete and utter mess) if I wasn’t in a dorm lobby watching the show with other people, some of which were strangers.

This particular performance, however brief, defines soul music.

Near the end of the clip, you can hear Jabob’s mom or granny say:

Thank you, Jesus.

God bless the child, indeed.

* * *

This was supposed to be posted last Saturday, but was significantly delayed because ever since I got back from my overnight LB trip, I haven’t been able to use ze laptop. Mama, Josh (my brother), and Ann (my sister) have been tag-teaming the poor piece of tech all weekend long, so I wasn’t able to use it until a few hours ago.

So, if this post looks and feels haphazardly made, it’s because it is.

I do apologize.

Check back tomorrow for MP³ #3: Flame. It’ll be a doozy since we have new members Mocha Frappe, Fradgeebots, and Ks participating in the project together for the first time. 😀

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. 21.February.2011 10:10 pm

    Naalala ko yung kuya ko. Xmas nun e. Madaming xmas na din ata yung nagdaan simula nung nangyare yun? Sinabihan na kasi syang magCR na para di madelikado ang tyan sa daan. Ayun, di nakinig. Haha.

    Congrats nga pala. You’re lucky you met manong sikyo. 🙂

    • 22.February.2011 2:10 am

      😆 Ano nangyare sa kuya mo? Tsaka san kayo papunta nun?

      Anyway, ako naman, mejo nag-aalangan umalis kasi nga hindi pa ako nakapag-CR nung araw na yun, pero malay ko ba na magiging full-blown diarrhea pala siya. Malas lang talaga, na naging swerte dahil nga kay Manong Sikyo.

      Salamat, giliw. I’m just really happy that I managed to survive the ordeal. =))

      • 22.February.2011 6:05 pm

        Galing kami kasi sa Cavite nun. Sa bahay ng tito ko. Pauwi na kami. Ayun sumakit tyan nya sa daan. Tapos talagang namimilipit na sya kada lubak yung dadaanan. Tawa nga kame ng tawa sa kanya e. Komedy kasi. Pikon pa naman sya. Hahahaha.

        Maging alerto na next time. Maging mapagmasid, at makiramdam. Haha. Ano daw.

      • 22.February.2011 6:25 pm

        I see. Hahay. Ewan ko ba. May halong kamalasan talaga pag may ganyang nangyayari. Kawawa na kuya mo. Buti na lang walang lubak dun sa dinaan nung bus kasi highway yun. Kairita lang talaga yung full blast na aircon. 😆

        Haha. Para sa ibang bagay ata yang advice, pero pwede na rin! 😀

  2. 22.February.2011 6:10 pm

    di ko un alam jedo? now alam na ng buong solar system na may pinagdaanan kang struggle before makadating ng fair. Sacrifice had to be made. pinagkaisahan ka ng forces ni Mother nature. benevolent act para magtino ka daw. see you next time kapatid!

    • 22.February.2011 6:26 pm

      Di nga kasi tayo nakapag-usap talaga ng maayos nung Friday.

      Struggle talaga no? Sacrifices had to be made, indeed.

      Sabi ko nga kay Lu, di ko man inasahang magkakaganun, tuloy pa din, para lang makahirit sa last day ng Fair at para makita kayong mga namimiss kong friends. 🙂

      Sige, dear. Balik din ako jan sa LB soon. Di ko pa nakuha diploma ko e. 😆

  3. 22.February.2011 8:50 pm

    Sabe ko nga out of topic na ko e. :)) Anyway, kelan pwede magpost nung next sa mp? 😀

    • 22.February.2011 9:02 pm

      Mag-post ka na, dear. Maya pa yung akin, mga 10:30pm. Hehe. 😀

  4. 23.February.2011 9:09 am

    LOL. 🙂 I can relate!! Christmas yun, pauwi na kami sa bahay, but hindi nakapaghintay si call of nature. Buti na lang, may malapit na mall nung na-feel ko si call of nature. Hassle talaga sa biyahe! But at least, may mabait na mamang sikyo. 😉

    • 24.February.2011 5:47 pm

      Bakit around Christmas time madalas nangyayari yung ganto? Dahil siguro sa halo-halong pagkain kasi nga daig pa pyesta. Una yung kuya ni Fradge, tapos ikaw. Ako naman, nung Christmas ’09, ganun din.

      Christmas Day mismo, papunta kami ng MOA from Los Baños nung hapon/mag-gagabi, tapos sa may Alabang area nag-alburuto tiyan ko. Buti saktong padaan kami dun sa lugar na may public restroom (pay-to-use naman, so better than your usual public CR.) Kinalaunan, di na ako sumama sa kanila sa MOA, dumiretso na ako sa bahay.

      Onga, Korhz, mabuhay si mamang sikyo. 🙂

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