My friend who grew up in the city complained. “My tooth aches.” It was lunchtime. Sayang. We were going to have lunch, picnic style beside a farm pond we call alug.
“Sumasakit din ang aking ngipin,” I said, … “na hindi ko matikman lahat nito,” I said, my tooth is also aching for not tasting all these, savoring the aroma of pinakbet (famous Ilocano vegetble stew), inihaw na talapia (broiled tilapia on charcoal). And "jumping salad". (Live juvenile shrimp, with calamansi and salt.) It’s like the proverbial Bacchus feast Philippine barrio style.
“Hindi ako nagbibiro,” He said. "May butas, eh." (tooth cavity)
“Okay press the base of your jaw, like this. ” I demonstrated how. Open your mouth and feel the attachment of the jaw, it’s the hollow part. Press it long enough until the pain subsides. He did it and held it there.
“Okay ka na?”
“Masakit pa rin.”
“Saan nga ba ang sumasakit?” Para akong dentista. (Where does it hurt? I was acting like a dentist.)
“Doktor, nga si Dr. Rotor,” I heard kindly Lola Bistra and someone seconded. Other giggled.
“Dito sa left.” My friend opened his jaw.
“Mali ang pinipisil mo, eh. Dapat sa kanan na jaw, ang tapat ng sumasakit na ngipin."
He pressed the wrong side of his aching tooth!
Well, he got relived finally. He was the last at the table - papag, made of bamboo which serves as a portable bed, too.
Masakit pa ba? I complimented sort of. (Is it still painful?)
Kunti a lang. Kasi kunti na lang ang itinira ninyo. (Little, he said, jokingly referring to the food we left after we had our fill.) ~
In this particular case traditional medicine shows these features:
- Healing between friends is assuring
- Palliative is brief relief
- "Humor is the best medicine."
- Don't spoil the fun.