The Ones Who Nurture In Silence

 

November 25, 2021

Jan Ashley Cay

Selflessness. A word that carries great weight of responsibility, care and thoughtfulness and anybody who is deemed selfless in my opinion, is a person willing to do whatever it takes for the betterment and well-being of other people, even at the expense of their own. With selflessness, a person does not exclaim proudly about everything they have done just to be acknowledged or recognized. It is in their actions that they pour their hearts and will into nurturing others, even in glorious silence. 

 

The COVID-19 pandemic had silenced the roaring progression of the world. It had shut down hopes, dreams and future plans and it had also robbed us of one of the most precious things that this world had to offer: Life. The virus had plagued millions, leaving people fending for their lives against the invisible enemy. In these horrifying times, who do we call to for help? 

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An article I once read had a man who had commented about doctors. "Some heroes wear masks below their eyes," he said. Right in that very moment did I resonate with the sentiment of how selfless these people are, especially in a country like ours. These people have put their lives and profession on the line to serve the Filipino people who need hope in these dire times. 

“Some heroes wear masks below their eyes,"

 

Our story focuses on Dr. Maria Eileen Roque-Dizon, an internist here in Pampanga who had treated and aided people during the pandemic outbreak. She shares to us her sentiments as a doctor called to the line of duty and as someone who had been afflicted by the virus yet had prevailed and served her patients despite the life-threatening experience.

"I think in my career as an internist, there was a big impact because there was a sudden need for my specialization. 

Especially since we were the ones attending to the COVID-19 patients." 

 

The pandemic had brought about many changes, she shares. It had various effects on our lives: physically, emotionally, psychologically, even financially. As a doctor who was faced with an unknown virus that was a threat to everyone's safety and health, it was up to them to take up the task of combating a foe they knew nothing about. 

 

The studies were little to none and doctors had trials and errors as the virus had no predilection, targeting anyone without the matter of age, status or race. Dr. Dizon describes it as an emotionally draining experience, one where she witnessed her patients unable to survive.  Seeing someone lose their life was challenging and difficult, but in their line of work, they must be strong. 

 

However, the strength she possessed was tested as she herself was diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus last August, 2021.

 

"It was a really scary and tough time for me but I had to strengthen myself for my family and patients. Thank God that I really have recovered from it."

 

It was an occurrence that was unavoidable since she had worked in a hospital where the afflicted were brought to be treated and hopefully, recover from the virus. The growing number of people who have passed because of this had shaken up the masses and spread fear to anyone who heard of this news. Dr. Dizon was fearful for her life as like any other person, she had a family waiting for her back at home, but as someone who had taken an oath to serve the Filipino people, her recovery was not only to show her growing perseverance, but also God's benevolence to those who selflessly serve others. 

 

As a doctor, she treats her patients with utmost care and diligence and as a patient, she shares the sentiments of those affected by the virus, understanding their thoughts and emotions from the firsthand experience of all the signs and symptoms of the virus.

 

"We can recover, We have to recover. I think the more important question is how fast we can recover from this?"

“We can recover, We have to recover. I think the more important question is how fast we can recover from this?"

 

The virus had not only strained its victims emotionally and physically, but it was a multifactorial issue that Filipino families had faced as Dr. Dizon would elaborate. 

The financial strains it had put on families had resulted in the growing number of lives lost and the frontliners, despite exhibiting such extraordinary feats of strength and determination, are people too who need rest. 

 

Their efforts will not be in vain as they have done what they could to protect the people of our country, but the multifactorial problem still stands as it troubles not only frontliners who try to safeguard citizens, but the general public who worry about their safety. 

 

"I hope in the future we can adopt a better health care program. It's not that it's not good, it needs to be more efficient for the rest of Filipino patients."

 

As a doctor and Filipina, Dr. Dizon wishes that the government would put more attention in addressing the multifactorial problem. It is not a matter of being inept, but a desire for development that will bring ease and security to everyone. Frontliners are modern day heroes who also need help. Their silence is not just commendable resiliency, but a fact of acknowledging how much they do for the people and this country. 

 

Selflessness is no trait of blind courage but visible determination in serving others so that we may all see the brighter future that we hope for. We salute frontliners who, like Dr. Maria Aileen Roque Dizon, do not suffer in silence as they treat the ill, but nurture them in silence as their actions are louder than proud words. 

Ang Mga Nag-aalaga Sa Katahimikan

 

November 25, 2021

Jan Ashley Cay

Translated by: Anneliese Tanco

Hindi makasarili o selflessness. Ito ay isang salita na naglalaman ng mabigat na responsibilidad, pag-aalaga at pag-iisip. Ang sinumang itinuturing na hindi makasarili, sa aking opinyon, ay isang taong handang gumawa ng anumang kailangan para sa ikabubuti at kapakanan ng ibang tao maliban sa kanyang sarili. Sa pagiging selfless, hindi ipinagmamalaki ng isang tao ang lahat ng kanyang nagawa para lang makilala siya ng iba. Sa mga kilos niya binubuhos ang kanyang puso at kalooban sa pag-aalaga sa iba, maging sa maluwalhating katahimikan.

 

Ang pandemya ng COVID-19 ay nagpatahimik sa mabilis at maingay na pagtakbo ng mundo. Winasak nito ang mga pag-asa, pangarap at mga pangkinabukasang plano. Ninakaw din nito ang isa sa pinakamahalagang bagay na maiaalok ng mundong ito sa atin: ang buhay. Sinalanta ng virus ang milyun-milyon mamamayan at iniwan nito ang mga tao upang ipagtanggol ang kanilang buhay laban sa hindi nakikitang kaaway. Sa mga nakatatakot na panahong ito, sino ang tatawagan natin para humingi ng tulong?

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Isang artikulo na minsan kong nabasa ay may isang lalaking  nagkomento tungkol sa mga doktor. "Some heroes wear masks below their eyes," (Ang ilang mga bayani ay nagsusuot ng maskara [mask] sa ilalim ng kanilang mga mata) sabi niya. Sa mismong sandaling iyon, naramdaman ko kung gaano ka hindi makasarili ang mga taong ito, lalo na sa isang bansang tulad ng sa atin. Inialay ng mga taong ito ang kanilang buhay at propesyon para pagsilbihan ang sambayanang Pilipino na nangangailangan ng pag-asa sa mga mahihirap na panahong ito.

“Some heroes wear masks below their eyes,"

(Ang ilang mga bayani ay nagsusuot ng maskara [mask] sa ilalim ng kanilang mga mata)

 

Nakatuon ang aming kuwento kay Dr. Maria Eileen Roque-Dizon, isang internist dito sa Pampanga na gumamot at tumulong sa mga tao noong biglang paglitaw ng pademya. Ibinahagi niya sa amin ang kanyang mga saloobin bilang isang doktor na nagtatrabaho upang matupad ang kanyang tungkulin at bilang isa ring taong nadapuan ng virus.  Gayunpaman ay nanaig at nagpatuloy siya sa paglilingkod sa kanyang mga pasyente sa kabila ng kanyang agaw-buhay  na karanasan sa sakit.

"I think in my career as an internist, there was a big impact because there was a sudden need for my specialization. 

Especially since we were the ones attending to the COVID-19 patients." (Sa tingin ko, bilang isang internist sa aking karera, nagkaroon ng malaking epekto ito dahil may biglang pangangailangan sa pagdadalubhasa ko. Lalo na't kami ang nag-aalaga sa mga pasyenteng may COVID-19.)

 

“The pandemic had brought about many changes,” (Ang pandemya ay nagdulot ng maraming pagbabago.) bahagi niya. Nagkaroon ito ng iba't ibang epekto sa ating buhay: pisikal, emosyonal, sikolohikal, at maging ang aspetong pinansyal. Bilang isang doktor na nahaharap sa isang hindi kilalang virus na nagiging sagabal  sa kaligtasan at kalusugan ng lahat, nasa kanila na ang tungkuling kalabanin ito. Halos wala pang mga pag-aaral ukol sa virus at ang mga doktor ay nagkaroon ng mga pagsusubok at pagkakamali [trials and errors] dahil sa walang katiyakan ng virus ay walang katiyakan. Maaaring mahawa lamang ng sakit ang kahit sinuman nang walang pinipiling edad, katayuan o lahi. Inilarawan ito ni Dr. Dizon bilang isang emosyonal na karanasan kung saan nasaksihan niya ang ilan sa kanyang mga pasyenteng hindi nakaligtas. Mapanghamon at mahirap makita ang isang taong mawalan ng buhay, ngunit sa kanilang linya ng trabaho, dapat sila maging matatag.

Gayunpaman, ang lakas na itinago niya ay nasubok dahil siya mismo ay na-diagnose ng  COVID-19 virus noong Agosto 2021.

 

"It was a really scary and tough time for me but I had to strengthen myself for my family and patients. Thank God that I really have recovered from it." (Ito ay talagang isang nakakatakot at mahirap na oras para sa akin ngunit kailangan kong magpakatatag at palakasin ang aking sarili para sa aking pamilya at mga pasyente. Salamat sa Diyos na magaling  na talaga ako.)

 

Ito ay isang pangyayari na hindi maiiwasan dahil nagtrabaho siya sa isang ospital kung saan dinadala ang mga may sakit upang magpagamot at sana ay gumaling mula sa virus. Ang dumaraming bilang ng mga taong pumapanaw dahil dito ay nagpayanig sa masa at nagpalaganap ng takot sa sinumang nakarinig ng balitang ito. Si Dr. Dizon ay natatakot para sa kanyang buhay tulad ng ibang tao dahil mayroon siyang pamilya na naghihintay sa kanya. Gayunpaman ay bilang isang taong nanumpang  maglingkod sa sambayanang Pilipino, ang kanyang paggaling ay hindi lamang upang ipakita ang kanyang lumalagong tiyaga, kundi pati na rin ilahad ang kagandahang-loob ng Diyos sa mga taong walang pag-iimbot na nagbibigay serbisyo sa iba.

 

Bilang isang doktor, ginagamot niya ang kanyang mga pasyente nang may lubos na pangangalaga at kasipagan. Bilang isa namang pasyente, nakikiramay siya sa mga damdamin ng mga apektado ng virus dahil nauunawaan niya ang kanilang mga kaisipan at emosyon mula sa kanyang sariling karanasan ng lahat ng mga sintomas ng virus.

 

"We can recover, We have to recover. I think the more important question is how fast we can recover from this?" (Makakabangon tayo, Kailangan nating bumangon. Sa tingin ko ang mas mahalagang tanong ay kung gaano tayo kabilis makakabangon dito?)

“We can recover, We have to recover. I think the more important question is how fast we can recover from this?"

(Makakabangon tayo, Kailangan nating bumangon. Sa tingin ko ang mas mahalagang tanong ay kung gaano tayo kabilis makakabangon dito?)

 

Hindi lamang emosyonal at pisikal na paghamon ang buhat ng virus sa mga biktima nito, ngunit ito ay isang multifactorial na isyu na hinaharap ng mga pamilyang Pilipino batay sa paliwanag ni Dr. Dizon.

 

Ang mga pinansyal na paghihirap na nilalagay  sa mga pamilya ay nagresulta sa dumaraming bilang ng mga buhay na nawawala at ang mga frontliners, sa kabila ng pambihirang lakas at determinasyon, ay mga taong nangangailangan din ng pahinga.

Hindi mawawalan ng kabuluhan ang kanilang mga pagsisikap dahil ginagawa nila ang kanilang makakaya upang protektahan ang mga mamamayan ng ating bansa, ngunit nananatili pa rin ang multifactorial o iba’t ibang aspeto ng problema.  Hindi lamang mga frontliners ang nagsisikap na protektahan ang mga mamamayan, kundi ang pangkalahatang publiko na nag-aalala sa kanilang kaligtasan.

"I hope in the future we can adopt a better health care program. It's not that it's not good, it needs to be more efficient for the rest of Filipino patients." (Umaasa ako na sa kinabukasan, maaari tayong gumamit ng isang mas mahusay at mas maayos na sistemang pangkalusugan. Hindi naman sa hindi maganda, kailangan lang maging mas maayos para sa iba pang pasyenteng Pilipino.)

 

Bilang isang doktor at Pilipina, nais ni Dr. Dizon na mas bigyan pansin ng gobyerno ang pagtugon sa magkadugtong dugtong na problema. Hindi ito isang bagay ng pagiging kakulangan ng kakayahan, ngunit isang pagnanais para sa pag-unlad na magdadala ng kaginhawaan at seguridad sa lahat. Ang mga frontliner ay ang mga bagong bayani na nangangailangan din ng tulong. Ang kanilang pananahimik ay hindi lamang kapuri-puri na katatagan, ngunit isang katotohanan ng pagkilala sa walang kupas na serbisyo na  kanilang inaalay para sa mga tao at sa bansang ito.

 

Ang pagiging di-makasarili ay hindi katangian ng abalang katapangan, ngunit ito ay nakikita sa determinasyon sa paglilingkod sa iba upang makita nating lahat ang mas magandang kinabukasan na inaasahan natin. Sumaludo tayo sa mga frontliners na, tulad ni Dr. Maria Aileen Roque Dizon, ay hindi naghihirap sa katahimikan habang ginagamot nila ang mga may sakit, ngunit pahalagahan sila sa katahimikan dahil ang kanilang mga aksyon ay mas malakas kaysa sa mga mapagmataas na salita.