Inspired by old age

By Herbert Vego

ONCE a week, a group of us senior citizens meet for coffee at Hotel del Rio to discuss anything under the sun. The oldest in the group is widower Leopoldo “Pol” Causing, now 89, who always regales us with old memories, if only to prove that his brain remains sharp.

He also talks about healthy foods, moderate exercises and laughter, which he believes are crucial to his long life.

But that is why we wonder whenever he fails to come without even calling why.

One of his favorite songs is Father and Son, where a father tells his son, “Look at me, I am old but I’m happy.”

A retired lawyer/professor, Pol denies the notion that the older a man ages, the closer he gets to Kingdom Come.

Why be in a hurry? We senior citizens enjoy the privilege of paying less for food, professional services and medicine.

Honestly though, if there’s one privilege we avoid as much as possible, it’s buying medicines. Discount for senior citizens notwithstanding, reliance on “maintenance” medicine means our “spare parts” are no longer in good order and condition.

Old but healthy individuals reflect deathless character and pricelessness – just like the old masters’ paintings, diamonds, old silverware, old furniture, old coins, old books, aged wine and vintage cars. Greece, remember, thrives because of tourists on “time-travel” to the ruins of past civilizations.

While we don’t usually lament the loss of a new thing, we cry over the breakage of an antique plate or flower base.

Some old books are so packed with wisdom that they keep their authors alive in our hearts. Long-gone Greek philosophers like Plato, Aristotle and Socrates still impart wisdom to the present generation.

Strange as it seems, “old” is an old word with a “young” undertone, derived from an Indo-European root that means “to nourish.” You see, we say “How old are you?” when asking a young child for his age.

It is often only in old age that we cherish the memories of our youth. We love to look at our old pictures, to reminisce and share with the young the memories of the “good old days when we were young.” How we regret not having preserved most of our old photographs!

In the final analysis, however, let the Bible remind us that, whether young or old, dust we all are and to dust we shall return. There could be no adventure without traveling from youngness to oldness. In fact, the young ones beg of us young once to “replay” the adventures we have lived through.

I once owned a book on Benjamin Franklin that was borrowed but never returned.  If it’s any consolation, I see his picture whenever an OFW gives me a US $100 bill.

Ben Franklin was a boy born to very poor parents but worked hard to be somebody. He was already 81 in 1787 when elected to the Constitutional Convention that would frame the Constitution of the newly-created United States of America.

After reading Franklin’s biography, it buoyed my spirit. Now 74, I don’t have to retire from work. A writer writes for a lifetime. Expertise in a vocation or profession requires time.

Lord, fuera Alzheimer’s, please…

The people who fear old age are those who think of it as a gateway to the graveyard. Not exactly, because death does not choose between the old and the young.

As the saying goes, “It’s not the years in our life but the life in our years that counts.”



MY friend Jun Itpido asked me whether MORE Electric and Power Corp. has gone into the water-distribution business in Iloilo City.  This was because he had seen MORE Power service vehicles delivering bath water to residents of Barangay Democracia on “Mother’s Day” last Sunday.

Low water pressure has been a major complaint of residents whose faucets “belch” air.

I told Jun that it was “free water” in accordance with the distribution utility’s corporate social responsibility; no offense meant to the Metro Pacific Iloilo Water (MPIW) for dry pipes.

In case of unscheduled brownouts, the power company also provides portable cell-phone charging stations to the affected barangays for public use.

Rehabs of power lines that necessitate scheduled brownouts are always pre-announced by Joy Fantilaga in MORE Power’s Facebook page. Kudos to MORE Power President/CEO Roel Castro for the above initiatives.


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