Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Asthma, Birth Certificates, Lines, coffees

I was down with asthma these last few days. It’s because the summer heat is already creeping in and the air was so dry; there’s very little moisture in the air to keep the dust in control. So, all the allergies in my body started to act up in chorus and in harmony. My nose was running and when it is not running it was clogged, my eyes were always crying. I heard strange noises in my ears like someone is tearing a piece of paper. I had a small growth in my head that, according to my daughter, is already infected. To top it all, I got infected tonsils that gave me fever.

I was frustrated and irritated. I barked at my wife at the tiniest little things. An instance is when I told her something and she didn’t hear me the first time, I told her that she was deaf. Sometimes she can’t take it; she frowns and leaves me. And sometimes she laughs and slaps me on the head. She can’t understand why I sometimes get so irritated easily but with the above mentioned symptoms, it’s difficult not to bark at anything, even our dog who can bark too.

Anyway, the symptoms are ebbing though not totally disappearing and my head is a little bit lighter and cooler now. Maybe another factor that made this year’s allergy attack worse was stress: school and graduation, the disappearing academic records, the authenticated birth certificate and my grade 1 students (Lest I’d be misinterpreted:I love them).

Birth certificates are hell. I have my original birth certificate that my mother saved for me but I found out that it is now useless—it is not acceptable as a public document. I was freaked when I was told that I had to get an authenticated copy from the National Statistics Office. I mean, in the name of my neighbor’s unmentionable name, what can be more authentic than the original! I do love my country but everyday weirder and weirder things happen. Because our campus registrar will accept only NSO authenticated birth certificate, I was forced to do one of my most hated things to do-- go to the city.

I went to the Pasig City NSO satellite office to get an authenticated copy of my birth certificate and when I got there my jaw dropped--the line! The Line! The Line is so long that if you stretch it, it will circumnavigate the earth three times! The Philippines is becoming the line capital of the world! If you want to apply for an NBI clearance the line to the processing windows alone is not enough to drive a person to commit genocide. Go to the Department of Foreign for a Travel Abroad Document, expect to be in line for four years and three months before you can reach the door of the office. SSS, ATMs, Cashiers, the lines are getting longer. To tell the truth I expect to find Rod Serling standing and smiling and telling me “George, welcome to the Twilight Zone.”

What could be more authentic than the original!? Since I am in the mood, I will theorize on why birth certificates are worthless documents now.

Here’s my theory. It is because of the age limit imposed on casual and contractual employees. I have seen this happen. A contractual and a casual employee work for five months and then they are terminated to prevent them from becoming regular employees. So when applicants hit the age limit, they begin to doctor their birth certificates. The doctoring is so obvious and the age discrepancy between the document and the face and look and the body of the applicant is so big, that all the employers has to do is to call the police and charge these poor applicants with forgery and be done with it…or just tell the poor applicant no. But they needed the skills of these people so they go along with the forgery. During my teenage years when I used to work as a factory worker, it is not unusual to see forty-three year old teen-agers working as machine helpers and they taunt it.

And that’s how birth certificate became what it is now—a piece of paper for wiping rear ends.

I quit coffee. I hate to do it but I’m beginning to feel the effect of caffeine addiction--I can’t sleep without drinking coffee. I can’t sleep when I drink coffee but I can not sleep with out drinking coffee. See, I can’t tell what’s keeping me awake. I have turned to drinking milk, healthy and scientifically proven to induce sleep.



Jayred said...

You sound sick, George. :-) Literally and figuratively.

Ah, the looooong lines in government offices/agencies. When I went to LTO in 2006 to have my already expired driver's license renewed, I had to return to their office like three times. The system sucks.

Hope you get well soon. Asthma is no joke. Take it from your asthma classmate. :-)

Take care and God bless.

George said...

Thanks :-)

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