The Cure

For a month before I went on a jaunt with Tess Lopez to Negros Oriental, I had been quietly enduring chronic stabbing pains in my right ribcage.  It was most painful when I was about to lie down, when lying down, and when rising.  But on the eighth day of the trip [ 12 September 2009, Saturday ], I suddenly realized that the pain had finally disappeared!!!

I don’t know what did it, but it must have been one of these three, or all of these three things, that rid me of the chronic stabbing pain…

What Vivian Yuchengco told me two weeks ago [ 21 August 2009, Friday ] over lunch at her sister Connie Yuchengco-Gonzalez’s was right:  roads and bridges are being constructed / reconstructed all over the Philippines.  Driving from Vallehermoso town to Dumaguete city — passing the towns of Guihulngan, La Libertad, Jimalalud, Tayasan, Ayungon, Bindoy, Manjuyod… — that Monday morning [ 07 September 2009 ], we saw, nay experienced, that 45 kilometers of the national highway from Bais city to Dumaguete city — passing Tanjay city and the towns of Amlan, San Jose, and Sibulan — had been torn up and were being reconstructed.  So for all those kilometers, Tess Lopez’s van, and the three of us Goyong the driver, Tess, and I inside, were constantly whipped from left to right, then right to left, shoved forward and backward, backward and forward, and diagonally both ways!!!  Good thing Tess and I were engrossed talking about everything under the sun or we would have positively gone bonkers.  Wednesday afternoon [ 09 September 2009 ], we drove from Dumaguete city to Bais city for the annual town fiesta [ Saint Nicholas Tolentino, Feast Day 10 September 2009 ], and it was the same story.  It was even more fun because Mercey Teves-Goni and other friends were with us so there was more to talk about.  Thursday afternoon [ 10 September 2009 ], we drove from Bais city all the way back to Vallehermoso town.  Now that was another memorable drive:  the national highway from Bais city for many kilometers was also torn up and was being reconstructed.  So for an unimaginably bumpy number of kilometers, Goyong the driver, Tess, and I were again whipped from left to right, right to left, shoved forward and backward, backward and forward, and diagonally both ways!!!  By the time we got to La Libertad town, I felt that I had had Swedish, Shiatsu, Thai, Hilot, and whathaveyou massages all at the same time!!!  It’s called “lamog” [ “all beaten up” ] in colloquial Pilipino.

During the three wonderful days [ 07 – 09 September 2009, Monday to Wednesday ] we spent with the lovely Mercey Teves-Goni at her Dumaguete city residence, there was a steaming pot of “chocolate eh” on the dining table whether it was breakfast, lunch, merienda, or dinner.  YUMMY!!!  For the first time in my life, I had access to “chocolate eh” practically 24 / 7, and I absolutely didn’t mind.  True to my delightfully bad manners, I gulped it down instead of sipping it slowly like the ladies, Mercey and Tess.  The effects were wonderful:  We were happy and giddy all the time.  By the third day, I had consumed enough “chocolate eh” that I had begun to smell like a candy bar.

We were also constantly laughing about anything and everything…!!!  After dinners, Mercey, Tess, and I related the darndest stories of our lives, stories which made each other’s jaws drop to the floor, and it was way better than any comedy show on TV because it was all for real, however incredulous some of the episodes were.  Some of the stories, all real-life, could have put the world’s best fictionists — Ernest Hemingway, et. al. — to shame.     

So the next time I have chronic body pains, I have very good ideas on what to do…   😀   😀   😀



  1. Jerome G. Da Silva said,

    September 1, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Can anybody help me? I am Jerome Garcia Da Silva and I am trying to get some information about my Grand-uncle named Arnaldo Da Silva who I was told was tortured and killed by the Japanese in Dumaguete. I will be in touch with Prof. Pen Larena of St. Paul University for information he has about my relative. Does anybody have additional information? Thank you.

  2. Diego Jurado said,

    September 26, 2009 at 12:33 am

    Aren’t Filipino diets typically more high carb than they are high fat?

  3. September 25, 2009 at 5:51 pm


    You’re right.

    I had almost forgotten the terms “molinillo” and “batidor”…!!!

  4. Presy Guevara said,

    September 23, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Was it in “Noli Me Tangere” that the distinction between “Chocolate Eh” (espresso) vs. “Chocolate Ah” (aguado) was explained? How you trigger memories, Toto. “Chocolate Eh” till 10:00 AM and then again at merienda by 4:00 PM – yumyum. Great chasers for ensaimada or jacobina. These are the ones from true cacao beans formulated into moulded pellets or balls then slowly cooked on low fire, with evaporated milk and finally foamed in the “molinillo” with the help of a wooden “batidor.” The aroma alone can transport you to heavenly trance. Thank goodness for Filipino and Spanish stores, we get them here now.

  5. larry leviste said,

    September 23, 2009 at 3:43 am

    Death by CHOCOLATE is my preferred suicide.

    I’ve had my gall bladder non-inasively removed. Walk in the park, sweet Toto.

    It was probably the LAUGHTER, which YOGIS agree is the BESTESS medicine on the planet.

  6. September 22, 2009 at 12:12 pm


    Possible. Like every Filipino, I have a high-fat diet. 😛

    Toto Gonzalez

  7. Anton Sy said,

    September 22, 2009 at 11:02 am

    But you may have gallstones???

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