I remember my bout with Hepatitis A during my college days, I was about to graduate and I really abused my body as far as nightlife, alcohol and cigarettes were concerned. I wasn’t married yet but I had a cute angel called Vanessa from my former wife. I must admit, it was these times I was not yet as responsible as what people would say a good father was. I aimed to finish my studies despite already being delayed for two years and prove to my estranged wife, family and especially myself that I can accomplish this so they will not look at me so low. As it seems, my unfortunate in-laws would have no high regards for me, calling me a failure and putting me down all the time. My ex wife would call me a nobody, since I had to rely from my parents and grandparents for support our baby and all I could give was a measly P2,000.00 support per month during that time. Times were hard, and it went to the extent of her parents pushing her to look for someone else, a tycoon who owned one of the largest car companies in the Philippines to this day.
Frustrating and down as I was, I just set this occurrence aside and made it my driving factor. It was at this time that only my mom understood what I was going through and all I could say then, I would get over this dilemma some day. But if there was one thing I somehow managed to wish was that once the time comes and my baby would be a lady, she would come to me. Or at least I believed in that personally.
I remember the time when I would see them on weekends, slowly; my daughter would be growing up. I had hard feeling towards my ex wife but not on my daughter for I knew she was not aware of what was going on. Besides, like me, kids would usually go with their mothers when their parents are separated. I just enjoyed these moments with a heavy heart, contenting myself being happy with the situation.
At school, this indeed affected me. My total focus was not there. I kept on thinking of my future, both personally and professionally. While I excelled in some subjects, I also had my share of letdowns. I soon found myself being addicted to alcohol. Every night I would drink an average of 8 bottles of beer, regardless of where I was. I drowned my sorrows in alcohol and smoked till my lungs would give. Suicide? Nah, maybe I just wanted to see how far my health would take me. Sports was still there for me, being the athletic person I am.
It was on a day where I emceed a seminar when I started to feel strange. I felt dizzy, not having any appetite and all I wanted to do was drink liquids. At first, I thought it was just out of being too busy so I didn’t really mind it. I drove home and just prepared a jug full of iced tea to get me through the day. I still barely had the appetite to eat. I just went to bed and slept.
I woke up the following day feeling a lot weirder. I was really not feeling up to it, but yet I rose from my bed and went to attend our usual afternoon basketball game at the village. I could barely keep up with my friends. After 4 games, I became weaker and I immediately went home, catching my breath and immediately slept. The next day I couldn’t really get up and felt weaker and weaker. My mom checked on me and asked me why I was not eating for the past 3 days. She called my dad and they immediately brought me to my aunt who was a practicing doctor then at De Los Santos Medical Hospital. After a series of tests, it was confirmed that I had Hepatitis and that I had to be admitted. It was my first time to be admitted in a hospital and I must say that it being the first time, I had mixed emotions. I was wondering how it felt to be in a hospital. The experience made me accept that being hospitalized was very uncomfortable as it was.
Among my visitors was my best friend Byno, my grandparents Alfredo Nicdao from my mother’s side, and Amado and Demetria Yalung from my father’s side. And of course someone whom I least expected came because my mom told her about what happened, my estranged wife. I was never a man known to solicit pity but her presence indeed was surprising. She returned to singing in night clubs, something I really hated and well, just went with the flow. I have no idea if Vanessa knew about it, but she was too young then to understand. She was only 3 years old back then. It was at this time that we decided to get married, something I only found out now was a wrong decision.
I never knew the real reason why we got married, but in a way I am glad since my daughter officially went under my name and today she is with me. She is all grown up and reaching that stage where I made that drastic mistake. Everyday I remind her to make the most out of her life, enjoy and don’t rush into marriage to avoid what I went through. I owe it to my daughter to enjoy her life and make sure she does not go through what I went through, because anyone who would ruin her life at my expense will get what is due to him at my expense as well.
For me? Well, I haven’t really tackled my personal life to this day. Having someone is still not registering on my mind and my immediate goals is to save up, give my Vanessa a good education (She passed her 3rd Year without having to take summer classes! A big sigh of relief and making me proud and stomping over the people who did not believe in her!) and once God permits, get our own home. I believe I can attain this without asking help anymore from my parents. It is best they just concentrate on my other brother and sisters since I am not known to beg for help. I would rather help than be helped. Besides, asking for help and then finding out they would help my younger siblings is something I would rather not think about. Then again, that is another story…