Andromeda’s Vortex


By Atty. Farah G. Decano


WITH the prioritization of health workers as recipients of Covid 19 vaccine, the rest of the public must give way to them due to the former’s dangerous exposure to the virus. This not the best time to do a palakasan and compete for the vaccines. The public must do a paubaya.

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There seems to be a never-ending discussion on which Covid 19 vaccine brand is the best. Not that ordinary Filipinos are being offered any vaccine at the moment. It  looks like the majority will not be given any vaccine within the next many months as the Philippines is lagging behind other countries in bringing these foreign-manufactured vaccines into the country. Even with the limited supply earmarked for medical frontliners, local government officials and other VIP’s have been allowed to jump the queue. Public preference of one brand over others results from merely looking at the efficacy rates, where “efficacy rate” means the percentage reduction in a disease in a group of people who received a vaccination in a clinical trial.

While numbers or efficacy rates do not lie, many experts say that these numbers do not matter. For the statistics to make sense, a head to head comparison among vaccines should have been tested in the same trial, with the same inclusion criteria, in the same part of the world, at the same time. And we know that this did not happen. Some have been tested in the U.S, others in South Africa and other parts of the world. Some were tested in the summer when infections were lower, and some tested during a surge. The question should be which vaccine will keep us alive, free from hospitalization and end the pandemic eventually.

Clinical testing from all brands shows that hospitalization for severe symptoms and dying from the infection were prevented at almost the same rate. Thus, the conclusion is that the best vaccine is the one we are first offered. 

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Latest I heard over the news is that PUV marshals are to be deployed to stop riding public from chatting. Instead of macro managing the response to contain the infections, this government has been showing its inclination to micro manage the spread of virus.  With PUV marshals about to become reality,  I won’t be surprised with the creation later of an Anti-Pangangapit Bahay Brigade. Ahm…priorities?

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Recently, I happened to watch the MTV of this new Moira de la Torre original song “Paubaya” which she co-wrote with her husband. It features Julia Baretto and Joshua Garcia. The song was moving, and as usual Moira digs deep and the song is loaded with “hugot” which term means to draw out and express in words one’s emotions from a hurtful experience. Because the song is now playing on heavy repeat among local radio shows, it’s melody has been reverberating in my head and I now consider myself as suffering from what is called the “last song syndrome,“ referring to the experience of hearing a catchy song playing over and over again long after the sufferer has last heard it. 

The “hugot” in the song is contained in this quatrain: “At kung masaya ka sa piling niya, hindi ko na ‘pipilit pa. Ang tanging hiling ko lang sa kaniya, huwag kang paluhain at alagaan ka niya.” If only we lived in an ideal world, then this song will be readily embraced by those who have been heartbroken.  Accepting that a significant relationship has ended and making peace and moving forward may be the only way to go if the person who was hurt wants to open one’s self to enjoy a life free from the chains of being stuck emotionally to an old flame who has chosen to move on. 

Sometimes a hurt person no longer recognizes that forgiveness is a gift one gives to oneself. That we forgive others not to benefit them, but to relieve ourselves from the heaviness of carrying negative emotions to allow new opportunities for growth, personal and otherwise, to come in.

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