August 19, 2005


An embarrassing thing happened to me some weeks ago. In fact, I think it’s the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me. See, we have this kababayan who underwent heart surgery and since our small town is pretty much closed-knit (yeah, everyone knows everybody!), Darling (a childhood friend who’s also based here) and I decided to visit the kababayan to exchange some pleasantries and to show our support as well. Before going to the hospital, Darling and I talked about some news that her younger sister Honey heard when she visited our hometown for the fiesta. Honey told her that a relative of the kababayan patient died, she just doesn’t know who. Curious as to who the relative is, the first thing I asked the patient’s mother when we arrived was…

Translated in Filipino
ME: (sincerely, to patient’s mother) Ma’am condolence po. N-namatayan daw po kayo… ng relative?
PATIENT'S MOTHER: (uncomfortably) S-saan mo na-narinig –
ME: …um, narinig po namin kay Honey. Uncle daw or…
(Awkward silence)
ME: Condolence po…s-sino po yun?
(Awkward silence ulet)
PATIENT: (voice cracks) O..okay lang Nay…alam ko na po…
PATIENT’S MOTHER: (starts crying) S…sorry ‘anak…hindi ko lang kasi alam paano sasabihin sa yo…pero talagang sasabihin ko naman eh…(sobs)
Mother and patient started crying together in front of me.

I swear to God I wanted to disappear right there and then! Of course, I didn’t think the parents would hide it from the patient who just underwent heart surgery. Argh! I really felt very very guilty. They told me afterwards that it’s okay. Darling also comforted me by saying she would have asked the same question, I just asked it first. But still, argh! It’s definitely a lesson in tact. I’m so bad! :(

ETA: I still feel guilty. :(


CF said...

Hopefully in a few months this will be something you can laugh about. :D

beatlebum said...

actually, darling and i did laugh about it after we got out of the hospital, but still.... haay. :)