A young girl was looking through the family album and asked her mother
, “Who’s this fellow on the beach with you with all the muscles and curly hair?” the mother replied “That’s your father.”
The little girl look at her mother and said “Then who’s the old, thin, white haired man who lives with us now?”
The story above made me remember of a friend, the late Dr. Alfred Ganapin’s poem. Here it goes..
A genetic ghost waiting for its time
to come out of the dark,
A weed sprouting, one by one,
at first, unmenacingly;
But, then, like an army or
that great white shark,
Circling my crown of youth, invading
every space, not sparingly.
I look in front of the mirror and
cry out in dismay,
“Ah! Youth, are you leaving me?”
White hairs coming out not like
the ‘darling buds of May*’
I have to ask someone to pick them
or dye them, even for a fee!
But I guess they’ll win someday
and I have to give them the crown,
For even now, they have already
invaded my nostrils!
I can’t help but look at myself
with a foolish frown,
That day may come, white hair and all,
Well? Am I thrilled!
by Alfredo Ganapin, August 21, 1996
ALFRED GANAPIN passed away peacefully on 20th December 2004 at King Faisal Hospital, Riyadh, KSA.
He was admitted to the hospital almost a month before and courageously fought his illness day by day until his last hours.
Alfred was 43 years of age and had worked in veterinary medicine for the Ministry of Agriculture in Saudi Arabia where he lived since 1991.
Despite his busy schedule, Alfred was a passionate, committed advocate for the rights and welfare of migrant Filipinos. He campaigned for the enactment of the Philippine Absentee Voting Law and was a co-convenor of the International Coalition on Overseas Filipinos Voting Rights (ICOFVR). Dr. Alfred Ganapin was a pioneer member of the Progressive Times Group, and an original moderator of eLagda-Riyadh and proponent of e-Ladga’s Erap Resign Movement, and a Namfrel volunteer during the absentee voting exercise in May 2004.
One of Ganapin’s pet advocacies was making the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) more responsive to the rights and needs of overseas Filipino workers.