Archive for September, 2007

It has been a while since I posted anything here. The first reason (alibi?) was that I was bitten by the photography bug and i was preoccupied with taking snapshots/photos of ANYTHING. I actually created a separate Multiply site for it, http://shutterblog.multiply.com/.

A second, more important reason was that I suddenly found myself in the midst of funeral preparations for a dear neighbor who died of a massive heart attack at the age of 52. His widow had no one else to turn to at the onset, and I had to be there for her as a friend of the family. They have a four-year-old son. I thought that my involvement would end after the funeral arrangements, but then I found myself getting involved anew in sorting out all those paperworks that come after the interment services. Thankfully, we are almost done with that.

I have come to realize that in the Philippines, the cost of dying far outweighs the cost of living. Funeral arrangements can cost an arm and a leg if one wishes to have a decent send off. For my friend, his final transport fare to the next life was at around P170,000 (about US$3,700)–that is about twice the annual income of the minimum wage earner. Her widow was taken aback by the costs, but what to do? Everything was at AT-NEED price, and one only has seven days max to put everything together. And it was just a simple send-off. Nothing fancy. As I was quite visible around the neighborhood as the one in charge of the funeral arrangement, someone jokingly said that henceforth I will be known as Sally, the funeral coordinator. Geez! Can’t I just be a wedding coordinator instead? The assignment was NOT fun at all. However, I must admit that I learned much from it.

There really is much wisdom in preparing for one’s grand exit from this earth. Morbid as it may seem, I have been looking into proposals for memorial and interment plans. Hey, I’m not that young anymore. I think that it is the most practical thing to do these days. I do not wish to burden my children (spoiled as they are by their titos and titas) with all those funeral thingies when my time comes. After all that, perhaps I can brush off all those thoughts of departing this earth and enjoy the rest of my life while I can still breathe. ;))


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