The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

"Saan Ka Ipinaglihi?"

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April 25, 2006
Tuesday

Another peaceful and quiet day at the hospital, taking care of Grandfather who's recuperating from his kidney infection and mild pneumonia albeit very slowly. The days are becoming sunnier and less chilly. I can now go out in shirts and light jacket.

Pardon me for my seeming apathy for Grandfather's current condition and his being in the hospital for more than a week now. But I have to admit that his being confined is better for the both of us. All his medical needs are readily available. His food is rationed regularly. His health and condition are monitored as well. There are nurses and aids who attend to his bathroom needs. Anyway, I'm there every day during visiting hours, from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. As for myself, being able to go home at night and spend time alone in the room and sleep without someone to take care of is certainly a BIG relief. Believe me, I've never felt this relaxed in the room for the last two years and so.

Funny thing is--ironic too--every time the doctor would say that Grandfather couldn't come home yet because his appetite is not yet improving, I feel glad deep inside. If only Grandfather would stay at the hospital for the rest of his life.... Oh well, I'll just wait and see what will happen next. For the meantime, I'm enjoying my time without him. I've been eating well too. Good thing is, I'm adjusting gracefully with my new life without Grandfather--something I thought I would face with difficulty. I'm an adaptable and flexible creature after all.

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Before heading to the hospital Tito Ren and I dropped by at Marcel's Bakery, where I got the latest copy of The Filipino Journal. My fourth time to get published... I'm gradually solidifying every article with thicker substance and, as always, I continue to inject subtle sarcasm and promote universal thinking and challenge the nationalistic tendency of my fellow Filipinos living here in a multiracial society.

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Saan Ka Ipinaglihi?
by aLfie vera mella

Ako—sabi ng nanay ko—sa sineguelas raw; ’yung isang kapatid ko naman, sa tsokolate naman daw. Pero bakit hindi naman kami maiitim?

Malamang ay nakarinig ka na rin ng kuwentong tungkol sa taong ipinanganak na, imbes na limang daliri ang nasa dulo ng bawat kamay n’ya, e mistula itong sipit ng alimango. O di kaya nama’y batang ipinanganak na may umbok sa likod—ipinaglihi naman daw sa pagong o kamelyo.

Maraming Filipino—lalo na ang mga nakatatanda—ay siguradong ibibintang sa paglilihi ang mga pangyayaring ito. Sa Pilipinas, lalo na sa mga liblib na lugar, o di kaya nama’y sa mga komunidad na kapos ang kaalaman, ay usung-uso pa rin ang paniniwalang iyan. Subalit, totoo nga ba ang aspetong iyan ng paglilihi? May epekto nga ba sa batang nasa sinapupunan ang bawat kainin o magustuhan ng inang nagbubuntis rito?

According to a Longstanding Filipino Belief
When the wishes or craving of a mother during the early stages of her pregnancy were not satisfied, her unborn child’s condition would be adversely affected; and worse, whatever she had craved for and eaten avidly during paglilihi would influence the child’s physical characteristics.

People who believe in such cases would surely allege that the mother of the “crab child” had feasted on crabs when she was in the stage of paglilihi. In fact, in the Philippines, claims like “pinaglihi sa palaka, sa luya, sa duwende, o sa sama ng loob” are very common. However, thanks to the advancements in medical science—for the myths surrounding paglilihi are gradually being dispelled.

According to Medical Science
The term paglilihi refers to the period that stretches from conception through the first trimester of pregnancy. In this stage, the pregnant experiences hormonal changes that affect her bodily functions. The craving, hypersensitivity of taste and smell, nausea, morning sickness, and mood swings are common symptoms of the changes. Some psychologists also claim that the hormonal swings of pregnancy can make a woman more emotional; she may begin feeling neglected. Because her belly begins to distend, she may feel fat and unattractive. To reassure herself, she may seek her husband’s attention more frequently by, typically, asking for certain hard-to-find delicacies.

The health of the mother during pregnancy has indeed many effects on the developing fetus. For example, women who, during pregnancy, were malnourished, did smoke or drink, or had in any way ingested unprescribed drugs would have had greater chances of delivering babies with congenital defects. And attributing the case of the “crab child” or the hunchback to any of these factors—and not to “paglilihi”—is the more logical and medically correct diagnosis.

Physical characteristics or the hereditary traits are transmitted from parents to offspring by the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) the genes contain. DNA is the fundamental hereditary material in almost all organisms. It determines the general makeup of an individual—such as hair color, complexion, height, bone structure, and even the shape of the hands.

In Genetics
Or the science of heredity and the relationships of organisms resulting from the interaction of their genes and the environment, there is a process known as mutation. This abnormal process involves the alteration in the genetic material transmitted to the offspring. It may be spontaneous—that is, the result of accidents in the replication of the genetic material; or induced by external factors like temperature, x-rays, ultraviolet light, and chemicals. Its likely results are congenital abnormalities, physical deformities, and other aberrations. And any one or a combination of such spontaneous and external factors is the more probable reason some children are born with “crab hands” or humps on their backs or any other unusual physical features.

Sa Madaling Salita
Hindi totoo ang makalumang paniniwala ukol sa paglilihi—na maaari daw makaapekto sa magiging itsura ng sanggol ang mga kinakain o nagugustuhan ng nanay nito habang ito ay ipinagbubuntis pa lamang.

Kung atin naman kasing iisipin, maraming maling paniniwala na nagmula pa nuong unang panahon ang dala-dala ng bawat kultura hanggang ngayon—mga paniniwalang nagpasalin-salin mula sa isang henerasyon tungo sa susunod. At hindi lang naman ’yan sa Pilipinas nangyayari. Bawat bansa o kultura ay may kanya-kanyang “matatalinhagang” mga paniniwala at kaugalian, na minana pa sa kani-kanilang mga ninuno—mga ninuno na kapos ang kaalaman at hindi sanay tumanggap ng pagbabago. At hindi rin naman natin sila masisisi, dahil bata pa ang siyensya at teknolohiya nuong mga panahong iyon.

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Not Only in the Philippines
In 1977, in a remote province in China, Yu Chenhuan surprised his parents when he was born with long silky hair on almost his entire body. His condition continued to mystify everyone as he grew up into a very hairy boy. People who believe in the myth of paglilihi would simply dismiss Yu as a case of a child conceived of monkey [ipinaglihi sa unggoy]. However, the medical experts who diagnosed his condition confirmed that Yu was suffering from a disorder known as hypertrichosis – a rare genetically transmitted X-linked dominant disorder characterized by excessive hairiness on either localized areas or the entire skin of the body.

Learning Is Never Ending
“Life is a continuous learning (and unlearning) process.”

Maraming bagay noon na inakalang tama o totoo na napatunayang mali pala o haka-haka lamang. Sa kabilang banda, marami rin namang bagay na mali noon pero napatunayan ngayon na tama pala. Ang aral na maaari nating mapulot dito ay, Panatilihing bukás ang isipan sa bawat bagong kaalaman na ating natututunan. Subalit h’wag din namang basta-basta maniniwala sa mga impormasyon na ating naririnig o nababása, lalo na sa mga sabi-sabi; siguraduhin munang lehitimo ang pinanggalingan ng mga ito.

"The line separating facts from fiction is thin and brittle."

Sa panahon ngayon, mahirap nang mapag-iwanán. Kung hindi ka sasabay sa pagbabago, ikaw rin ang lalabas na talo. Kaya’t malaki talaga ang tulong ng siyensya at teknolohiya—dahil dito, patuloy ang pagsulong ng kaalaman, tuluy-tuloy ang pag-unlad ng sangkatauhan.

Kung hindi dahil sa siyensya, e malamang nagkikiskis pa rin tayo ng bato para lang makalikha ng apoy na gagamitin sa pagluluto.




3 Comments:

  • At Thursday, May 04, 2006 12:16:00 PM, Anonymous Edward said…

    Yo! Musta na? Share ko lang tong nakita ko sa Net -> http://www.seasite.niu.edu/Tagalog/Folk_Beliefs/
    filipino_folk_beliefs.htm

     
  • At Thursday, June 03, 2010 2:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    what can you say sa mga case na ipinaglihi sa artista o sa magandang mukha, at pagkapanganak maganda yung bata peru yung parents nya mga panget? ndi sa genes diba, panu mo ipapaliwanag yun?

     
  • At Thursday, June 03, 2010 3:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To Anonymous:

    Are you referring to yourself? I mean, kaninong artista ka sa tingin mo ipinaglihi ng nanay mo? Kung sakaling ikaw ang tukoy mo--sa tingin mo e pangit mga magulang mo para masabi na sa kanila ka nagmana? O kung ibang kakilala mo ang tinutukoy mo--e paano ka nakasiguro na anak nga siya ng itinuturing niyang mga magulang? Paano mo ipaliliwanag ang iyong obserbasyon?

     

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