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Our “Maya” bird has flown away

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Yesterday, we laid to rest the youngest sister of my mother, my last living aunt, Ma. Dolores “Maya” Villarosa Ramos. It was one of the most solemn interment ever held in our family of hundreds of relatives, and I am sure that was the way she wanted it. Our “Tiay”, later modernized to “Tita” Maya, was the youngest of six daughters of my grandfather, Daniel A. Ramos, and his last wife Pilar V. Ramos, both of them from Sum-ag, Bacolod City.

***

Our “Tita” Maya was very close to us because she was only older by a few  years from my late  sister, Perla. So we played together as kids, went to  parties or “jam sessions” as they were called then. We treated each other more like sisters, sometimes quarreling but never took a few hours to reconcile. She was a very lighthearted person, so her elder brother, the late Judge Jesus V. Ramos, would call her “Marikyat” whenever she would say or do something out of turn.

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But she was one of the most goodhearted persons I know, never holding grudges. In fact she just stuck out her tongue at those who always scolder her and called her “Marikyat”, which, I confess, we also did (behind her back, of course). As I recall, our aunts, and I bet even our grandparents, must have been exasperated with her at times because she never seemed serious about her studies. And yet, she went to study at the University of the Philippines, managed to hurdle all her subjects, and later went on to acquire a Master’s degree, and later a doctorate degree, as well!

***

When she passed away on Friday, by the way, the same day, May 21, as my sister, we were all surprised, because they both had so many things in common. Both were dedicated educators and became school officials. They consulted each other on professional problems with “Tita Maya” guiding her, and both of them consulting each other on educational problems. I am sure they have already met each other where they are now, and even as I pray for them, I ask them to forgive me my naughty jokes on them, and also to pray for me and all our remaining relatives. “Eternal rest grant unto them, Oh Lord, and Let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen”.

***

I guess it is time to move on to other matters lest I lose my bearings thinking about those two whom I loved  so much and who loved me in return. I always pray for them so I would be forgiven for the times I was sassy with them, answered them back, or kidded them about their decisions! And yet both of them were so successful, Tita Maya became a college dean at the University of St. La Salle, while Perla was head of the Mathematics Department of the Negros Occidental High School.

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An important matter to dwell on these days is the continuous surge of the COVID, the new and incomprehensible ailment that has puzzled medical people worldwide. But there seems to be hope shining in the distance  with the discovery of vaccines that are now showing their efficacy in combatting it. The problem is that its availability is still not as easy as the population of the world wants, so we need to pray more for the production of more, and even improved types to deal with the different variants springing up.

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But there seems to be problem with vaccines that our medical specialists have to deal with. This is the alleged prejudice of some against certain types  and those who refuse to subject themselves to other types, except the one of their personal choice, which may not always be available. Let us follow the advice of experts, who only want to help us. Don’t be choosy. Me, I don’t even know until now which vaccine I was stuck with! So long as they have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and other agencies, go for it. I don’t know anyone yet who had died of a vaccine, but of COVID, plenty!

***

But what is this report about some medical people and agencies selling vaccines for as high as P12,000 to P15,000? I guess they cater to those who doubt the efficacy of the government procured ones and can afford to pay that much to ensure their immunity. Well, if they have the money, let them pay, but let’s hope they have assurance that what they are getting are the real and effective ones. There are always people who make money by capitalizing on epidemics and emergencies.*

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