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One of the many sequelae of Filipinos (in this case make that Chinoy) working abroad is leaving behind, among other things, their aging parents. The lucky ones have other brothers and sisters to look after their parents but there are instances when the parent or parents are left on their own.

This is a story of an elderly lady who had all her three children staying in the US. When the children migrated one after the other, she was much younger and still in her best elements, in full control of her faculties and could manage both her personal and financial affairs. Although alone, she got through her quotidian rhythm which she observed day after day after day.

Upon waking up she would cook her breakfast, water the plants in her garden and go about her daily business of going to the market. Every two weeks, she would collect the rent from their six door apartment in Sampaloc.

Because she was alone, nobody noticed her deterioration. Among those who did, they kept to themselves.

You see, the old woman, who at the time was in her late 70’s had developed Alzheimer’s Disease.

Although she was able to commute, manage her personal hygiene and engage in meaningful conversations, she became mentally impaired enough that she could no longer recognize the value of money or at least the value of each denomination.

That was why, each time she would collect, these calculating, scheming and sinister renters would only give her PHP20 and she received it without hemming or hawing. That was also the reason why, the same calculating, scheming and sinister renters did not mind if the old lady would be knocking on their door every day to collect the rent.

What’s  PHP 600 that it will add up to the PHP10,000 they should have been paying.

I call them wicked.

DISCLAIMER: The identities of the subjects in the vignettes and other stories on this blog are intended to be ‘anonymous’ to protect the patient and their families and keep the doctor-patient confidentiality or fiduciary relationship. The personas cited here are not meant to be blind items or fodder for gossip. My lips are zipped in that department. Some of their identities and circumstances have been altered but the nuances of their medical condition are fact and not hidden behind veiled medical-clinical fiction. Think Oliver Sack’s ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat’. Okay, it’s like comparing Roederer Cristal rose wine with vin d’ table but  I know you see the drift.