By Perry Diaz
It’s confirmed! Twelve bone specialists from 12 countries were flown to Manila to take a look at former President Gloria Arroyo’s “rare disease.” After 12 hours of examination, the doctors were unanimous in their diagnosis. Gloria is indeed suffering from a very rare disease, which they all agreed is also incurable. They explained that it is caused by a psychological disorder called psychosomatism.
I googled psychosomatism and here’s what I found out: “Psychosomatism is a condition in which the person believes themselves to be inflicted with certain diseases; the diseases are not real, their symptoms are all (or mostly all, some may be present but overexaggerated) made up; it’s a sort of paranoia where every single rumor of the existence of something sets off the person’s fear. It’s basically a big head game with yourself, having this; mind over matter and such.”
But the doctors were also of the opinion that Gloria’s psychosomatic disorder may have been complicated by her fear of imprisonment, which caused her illness so she could travel to other countries and seek medical treatment for her psychosomtic disorder.
Well, before I wrote this column, I consulted a quack doctor known only as “Mang Tibo” who was recommended by my investigative reporter, James Macaquecquec. I explained to Mang Tibo what the foreign doctors’ findings were. Mang Tibo told me to visit him at his “clinic” and bring a picture of Gloria and two female chickens – one white and one black.
It found the two chickens he specified and then went to Mang Tibo’s “clinic.”
Our conversation went as follows:
Me: Good morning, Mang Tibo.
Mang Tibo: Good morning, Perry.
Me: I brought a picture of Gloria and two chickens, one black and one white, as you specified.
Mang Tibo: Very good! Now, let me have them and let’s start the ritual.
Me: Ritual? I thought you’re a doctor, Mang Tibo?
Mang Tibo: Yes, I’m a doctor from the old school. Medical schools nowadays aren’t like the ones I attended. What they have today are just diploma mills! They don’t teach medical science like they used to. If you don’t trust me, leave!
Me: Oh, no! No! No, no, no… I trust you, Mang Tibo! Let’s proceed.
Mang Tibo took the two chickens, mumbled something that sounded like a prayer over the picture, and cut the heads of the chickens with a balisong. He then poured the blood into a clay pot and mumbled something again. He added some potion and herbs into the pot and stirred it with something similar to a bone of an animal. He then poured the blood on a glass table, which slowly spread out and formed a figure.
Mang Tibo: There it is! Hmm… This is really strange! I’ve never seen anything like this before!
Me: What is it? What is it, Mang Tibo?
Mang Tibo: What this is telling me is that Gloria is very healthy! But there’s another Gloria here, a very sick woman.
Me: Now, I can see. The blood of the white chicken is the healthy Gloria and the blood of the black chicken is the sick Gloria.
Mang Tibo: Tumpak! You’re learning fast, my boy!
Me: But what if you use only one chicken, say a brown chicken?
Mang Tibo: That wouldn’t work because there are always two sides in every person – the good and the bad. But sometimes there’s a third side – the ugly.
Me: The good, the bad, and the ugly… Hmm… Go on, Mang Tibo. Are you seeing three sides of Gloria then?
Mang Tibo: I thought so at first. But I was wrong. I’m seeing only two sides of Gloria!
Me: Well, she’s okay then if she has two sides – good and bad – like all normal people.
Mang Tibo: But like I said earlier, it’s strange!
Me: Mang Tibo, the suspense is killing me! What is strange?
Mang Tibo: It’s very clear now; Gloria has only two sides – the bad and the ugly! She doesn’t have any good side.
Me: Oh, my goodness! And to think that she was our president for more than nine years!
Mang Tibo: Well, did she do anything good for the people?
Me: Hmm… Actually, none that I could think of. Gee, you’re good, Mang Tibo! But you haven’t told me what kind of incurable and rare disease Gloria has?
Mang Tibo: I thought I did. Didn’t I tell you she doesn’t have a good side? That’s what’s wrong with her. It’s a rare disease and it’s incurable!
Me: But why is she wearing that funny looking contraption around her head?
Mang Tibo: That’s all part of her problem. She thinks her head is falling and needs to be propped up with a halo vest. Otherwise, she’d be walking like a bubblehead.
Me: I wonder why she’d think her head is falling?
Mang Tibo: Simple! She is suffering from Mary Antoinette’s syndrome. She’s convinced that President Aquino wants her beheaded like what happened to Mary Antoinette during the French Revolution.
Me: No wonder she wants to escape and seek asylum in the Dominican Republic! So all that acting is just… acting.
Mang Tibo: Yes! It’s called “malingeritis.”
Me: Malingeritis? What’s that?
Mang Tibo: In layman’s language, that’s malingering.
Me: Well, thank you, Mang Tibo. I really appreciate it. By the way, what are you going to do with the two chickens?
Mang Tibo: I’ll cook them for dinner! Would you like to stay for dinner?
Me: Oh, no. Thanks but I got to run. Have a nice dinner, Mang Tibo.
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DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. Any similarities to real characters are coincidental. This story is satirical and is not intended to disparage or defame anyone.