Sunday, September 23, 2007


I remember a childhood in a neighborhood on the other side of town
My "neighbors" included carabaos rolling over in mud
And a swampish area overflowing with "kangkong" (also known as swamp cabbage or water spinach) .
The unpaved and dusty road leading to our core housing unit was my playground

Like any young kid on the block, I would explore the world barefoot ...
Slippers were a luxury and were reserved for special occasions,
Or for those moments when my parents would suddenly remember proper etiquette

I grew up feeling comfortable with moving around barefooot.
As life progressed into the realm of wooden floors, vinyl tiles, marble , and wall to wall carpets - I would find myself instinctively walking around barefoot at least in the privacy of my home ...

That is until a cathartic event -the memory of which I recall today.

We were in Baguio
Me, my son and wifey ...
The weather was great
I was walking around in a room we had rented for the weekend
The wooden floor was nice and cool

My bare feet were sliding along comfortably

Suddenly - my vision blurred
A pain shot through my entire right foot and up into my leg
My eyes poured out a bucket of tears
And a howl escaped from my lips

My bare feet had walked straight into the legs of a narra table
Narra ( Pterocarpus indicus) is the national tree of the Philippines
It is considered one of the hardest of hardwoods
One can imagine that on a cold day - a narra table can be one of the hardest obstacles a foot can run into
And when it happened - the laws of physics determined which was to give way -my foot or the narra table

The outcome was predictable
As my howl of pain subsided, I could see the little pinkie toe of my right foot at a horrendous angle in relation to the rest of my foot

If it weren't so painful - it would be funny
True enough, my loving son and my caring wifey who did not feel an iota of the pain broke out in irrepressible laughter at the sight of my little pinkie
For a while, even I , thought that it was funny
But the pain ... ohhhh the pain would bring me back to my senses

That was not the end of it ...
Instinctively wanting an end to the anomaly, having had some experience as a boy scout ,and having seen enough movies
I resolved to correct the situation immediately and by myself ...

I took a face towel, rolled it, and bit into it - ready to take the suffering like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky, Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible or Matt Damon in Bourne Ultimatum
Deep, deep breath ....
Took hold of the pinkie
Closed my eyes
And jerked it back into place


I opened my eyes
I was still alive
The two laughing hyenas had frozen in their tracks
Their eyeballs close to popping out in disbelief
Suddenly they were concerned ...
Moving rapidly to hand me some gauze and plaster bandage strips to further immobilize the pinkie against the toe next to it

I winked at them both
Took the remote control and changed the TV channel as if nothing had happened
I was Sylvester Stallone, Tom Cruise and Mat Damon put together
I felt victorious
My manhood was validated
I smiled as another tear of pain rolled down my cheek ...
It was a night we all will not forget

Today - I walk around at home in a pair of Crocs
It's a lifestyle shift
Significant and groundbreaking (at least for me)
But the change is for the better ...
I refuse to stub my toe like that again
Been there - done that
Never again

"Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain."

Robert Gary Lee


Thelma said...

Hi, I just found your site. Tell me please, are you serious that is your name and last name?

I enjoyed your posts. Been sitting here for 3 hours now reading.

Sorry, you hurt your toe. I was also sorry that my niece broke her right middle finger last Saturday.
She graduated as an Industrial Engineer last March (UST). She came to Vegas as her Mom (my sister) were already there.
For her graduation, I gifted her a brand new Chevy Cobalt LT so she would have a car to get to work. Accident happened last Saturday. Thank God, she was not hurt badly.
Still, broken finger I guess really hurt.
By the way, the picture of the pig, is that real too?
I was born in San Miguel, Bulacan. My passion is cooking. I retired from the U S Air Force.
Tonight, I had a pansit luglug.
My husband had a steak and potatoes, he doesn't eat Pinoy food.
Well, take care and get well soon.

Kansas USA

Daguldol Tarakatac III said...

Thank you so much for droppin' by the blog. It is such a joy to know when people enjoy reading through it.

Yes - a broken toe or finger for that matter can be a very distressing thing. I hope that your daughter gets well soon as well.

Bulacan continues to be a progressive hub around the Metro Manila area. You should visit it someday as well as some other parts of the Philippines

I wish you well.
Please visit again


p.s.- the name is as real as the pig :-)

Daguldol Tarakatac III said...

Ooooooooops -sorry
I thought it was your daughter who broke her finger. On re-reading your coment , it turns out that it was your niece .... (my mistake)

Anyway, I hope she feels better soon.


Anonymous said...

man-alive! that looks extremely painful. it hurts me just looking at the picture. i couldn't even read the whole entire post.


Daguldol Tarakatac III said...

Hahahahaha - yup, it really hurt.

Thanks for droppin' by.
I do that once in a while - I gross everybody out.

Just hang on and visit again.


ulyden97 said...

I know how it feels, it happened to me two weeks ago. My doctor gave me work restriction for 3 weeks , now my employer took me off from work since I can't work with restriction. I can't work because of that little pinkee toe, just because my 7 year old son accidentally stepped on it, but unfortunately it was not only dislocated but it was fractured.

And yes it looks so funny, because my loving husband was laughing while I was crying and waiting for the doctor at the hospital.

Daguldol Tarakatac III said...

Halooooo Den,
Welcome to the "stubbed toe club".
Yup - there can sometimes be humor in pain

Welcome also to the blog
Stay tuned

luna miranda said...

Hello Daguldol,

I got here from Sidney's site. I've been reading and laughing for the past hour or so. Seeing the photo of your crooked pinky brought tears to my eyes---from laughing...sorry.

Your food/restaurant posts are great! Will keep reading your posts.


Daguldol Tarakatac III said...

Thanks so much for dropping by.
I am so happy that you are enjoying my pain ... :-)

Please stay tuned
I appreciate your comments