Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Why Abenson Is Still A Name You Can Trust

I recently purchased (out of the earnings I've made from first few months of practice) an LG 32" LED edge-lit LCD TV, from an Abenson store in BiƱan, Laguna. Like a good consumer soldier I did my research, canvassed brands, made benchmarks with other models of the same tier, asked for a demo and finally paid for my tv. I got back to my dorm, tried out some of my HD movies and messed around with the controls. Lo and behold! After only 3 hours of operation I noticed a pink band/discoloration on the right side of the screen, about 2 inches in width and occupying roughly the whole right border. I decided to bring the unit back the following day as it was night time when I discovered the defect, and the store is already closed. After my clinic I went to Abenson's and told the staff about the problem. I was kinda anxious since they could try and justify that the unit was tested before I purchased it, and that the warranty should cover repairs, not the store. Fortunately, the store attendant as well as the manager were accommodating enough to tell us that it was indeed considered as manufacturer's defect and that they would replace it right away. I felt so relieved and pleased at the same time - I thought it would take days before I could get a replacement unit. Somehow, this experience reinforced my trust in Abenson. They were very prompt in finding a solution to my problem, and I went home a happy customer. I would recommend this establishment to those in search not just of quality appliances but efficient, effective and customer-oriented service as well. Great job, Abenson! You have proven your worth when it comes to customer care and satisfaction. More power and God bless!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Farewell, Nelson Joseph "NJ" O. Villafania, Jr.

It's been two weeks since one of my younger brothers, Nelson Joseph "NJ" O. Villafania, Jr. died from a vehicular accident. He was only 24 years old. Attempting to write a chronologically detailed account of what happened only yields painful memories, so I'll just give a summary of what happened to him.

June 26, 2011

That fateful day that he died, he was on his way back to his condo unit, crossing the street when a speeding jeepney hit him head on, placing him underneath and dragging him several meters before the vehicle came to a full stop. Witnesses (passengers of the jeepney) said the driver, apart from smelling of liquor didn't have his eyes on the road - he was playing music on his cellphone and texting at the same time. He was reckless, and his recklessness ended my brother's life.

As I go further and further away from that awful day, I've begun to realize how fragile life is, and how temporal all my dreams and aspirations seem to be. This isn't the second time I've lost a sibling. In 2004, the eldest in a brood of 5, JB passed away due to complications of renal failure. He was 28. It was hard, but at least his predicament wasn't as sudden; his doctor approximated a year of struggle before his demise. And that's exactly how he spent his last year on earth...struggling.

I'm a licensed physician now, with an undecided mind as to which field of specialization I'll devote the rest of my working life to. By preference, it's surgery, but certain conditions make it somewhat difficult to "seal the deal". Currently I'm rendering services to an institution that hasn't really showed much support for any of its alumni; nevertheless it's still better than nothing.

As I delve deeper into the practice of medicine I keep in mind what happened to my brothers, the significance of their deaths in my role as a doctor, and I push myself to be consistent in doing my best to save the lives of the patients that come my way. I pray that my own life may not dishonor their deaths, but rather give glory to them and to God for all the blessings I have received. May they intercede for me so that I may be a better person, a better instrument of God.

Now what does this have to do with gunpla? On the surface, nil. The relationship between the death of my brother and my passion for scale modeling seem too distant to warrant any perceivable significance, and yet there is.

My brother was an architect; if there's one thing we have in common, it's our penchant for the visual arts. We both draw, we both like video games (addicts to be precise), we both appreciate comics. Sure, most boys are like that, but on a personal level, these traits are what brings NJ and I together. I talk too much, he's silent most of the time, and though different in personality, it's that difference that makes us complement each other. To me, he was my avid listener; to him, I was the voice of reason. Though he wasn't really into the modeling scene, he did appreciate gundam models and other tinker toys (He had a Tamiya 4WD phase back in the day). Whenever I would come home on a weekend, I would sometimes bring my current work-in-progress and show it to him, his opinions and critiques serving as my guides for improvement. In addition, we would often trade PSP games and play via ad hoc connection, immersing ourselves in fantasy realms that serve as our escape from the pressures of the real world. With NJ, I felt life was lighter, simpler.

I guess with him being gone (I do hope he's having the time of his life together with JB - those sly bast@rds - enjoying paradise while we're all still stuck on this planet!) I would have to move on with my life. It's hard to focus sometimes - feelings of pain come and go like the wind, and imagined scenes of his final moments keep playing on my mind. I'm fortunate to have been raised in a family centered on Christ, because somehow God protects me from breaking down by letting me associate NJ's suffering with Jesus' as he hanged on the cross. It makes it easier for me to accept my brother's death - by allowing myself to see it as an offering of his love for the Lord - that it was not a waste of life, but a transformation of life. I know he's alright now. I just hope that someday, I will be too.