Twenty seven years ago, my life was given a second chance after the veins and arteries on my spine snapped, well at least that's what the doctors told me. During that time, I had to learn to walk again as I have been lying on my back for six months following a 16-hour microscopic operation.
Everything went fine after that. I was able to go to school and live a normal life into adulthood. I was even given the opportunity to be a field reporter and found my calling as a writer in the process.
This year though, I felt something familiar. I have flashbacks of the numbness that I had when I was six when I was completely paralyzed. I can still be active now but I cannot be certain on how long it would be.
I feel weaker. I'm on a mandatory 3-week bed rest and if it weren't for my Playstation 4 and my subscriptions to Iflix and Netflix, I would be focusing on my infirmity.
Before my dad passed away, he kept saying that the factory defects in our body come out once we get older. Mine was delicate to start with and whatever is keeping my body parts together is probably detaching itself slowly and painfully to add to that.
I get exhausted after traveling for an hour now. I sleep earlier than usual and wake up at 4 or 430 in the morning. I feel like my physical being is betraying me but my spirit keeps telling me to move forward no matter what.
Ten years from now, I'm not sure if I'll be walking or if I'll be carted off in a wheelchair.
But that's the beauty of it. I can manage what I do instead and not regret that I haven't done this or that or curse at the heavens for taking it all from me in just one instance.
It is odd that I am the actor, producer, and lone spectator of my deterioration. The optimist in me looks at it in a way where I can prepare for destiny. Not many are given a chance to do so.
I am now part of a vulnerable sector in society where more privilege should be afforded to not because of vanity, but because of necessity.
While I can still be mobile, while I can still go wherever I want to, I have to maximize my time and effort so that people like me are not deprived of certain rights that have been granted to us by the state.
Everyone will become weak either by accident or through time, I may have went ahead because of a higher purpose.
Hopefully, I can find it so that my brothers and sisters who cannot walk, cannot talk, or even cannot think properly, will still be a functional member of our society.
I am a Person With Disability and there is nothing to be afraid of or a need to be sorry for me. I also believe that every Filipino PWD, together with their family and loved ones, could have the strength to be productive in their household and community.