imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

The story of Karen

She was supposed to star in a make-believe life story where a pot of gold would be waiting at the end of the rainbow.

She was supposed to take that pot of gold home then fly back to another rainbow for more pots of gold.

Well, instead of a rainbow, she found death lurking nearby – his shining death scythe ready to strike anytime.

Her name is Karen, fellas.

She has a pretty face with sleepy, begging eyes that look so magnetic one would sneak in a second, third or fourth look once she passes by. Once, she considers herself of a brat specie, one who would rather escape with friends for some happy-go-lucky adventure in a nearby resort or town, then comes home with the usual manner: “Give me five, man!”

But one day, she found out most of her classmates were applying for an On-The-Job Training (OJT) in Singapore.

“May I fit in?” she said and before she knew it, she was already one of those enjoying her OJT in Singapore!

“Whoaaa! New adventure!” she said.

Well, to cut the story short, she graduated and then one day, she found herself once more in Singapore as a service crew member of a restaurant.

Karen balanced her principles in life to adapting to Singapore culture and tradition to maintaining her Filipina culture and made herself known to her peers until one day, she found herself already managing a restaurant, one of her dreams.

“One for my bucket of dreams,” she said.

Everything changed in Karen. She believed God had a purpose in her, and she became closer to Him. Her faith became a solid rock that she acknowledged Him as the main source of her strength in reaching her dreams.

Then, the unexpected happened.

One day, she came home with a severe headache. She thought it was just an ordinary headache. It would be followed by more headaches until in one of those headache instances, she noticed blood was coming out of her nose and mouth and eyes.

She was dying of an illness she did not know! Alone and away from home, she crawled out to the neighborhood and shouted for help. One of her neighbors applied first aid and brought her to the hospital.

She called out for her mom Alma, a UNP professor, here in the Philippines. She was diagnosed with severe aneurism and that a vein behind her nose ruptured. The hospital needed an assurance for payment as the operation cost would be big!

Alma, the ever-loving mom, would be more than willing to move heaven and earth to save her dying child. She only had one person who could do the miracle of saving Karen who was then dying in Singapore – former Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson. Off she sped to her savior, crying for help and Gov. Chavit, ever helpful as he had been, listened to her plea.

He grabbed the phone, contacted somebody in Singapore and turned to Alma: “Your daughter will live. I just contacted some of our countrymen there who will take good care of her.”

Karen lived to tell her story.

I don’t know if fate had it that a month ago, she landed inside one of those VIP rooms there at the Lyric Bar in Vigan City for a Kapihan Iti Amianan segment for showing at a local TV station, Channel 16 under Eagle Vision. There, I met the pretty, vibrant Karen, with the dying, magnetic eyes and the gait worth giving a second look over and over again.

And there, she told her story.

“If there is one person whom I owe my life, it’s Former Governor and now Narvacan town Mayor Luis “Chavit” Singson,” she said, teary eyed. “If not for him, I would have been six feet below the ground by now.”

Karen believed a miracle did happen on that fateful day and her Mom Alma and Apo Chavit were used by God to perform that miracle.

Today, Karen is back with a vengeance in Singapore, managing three restaurants, back to her old self. Once in a while, she would text to say she is doing fine and that “she hopes to find her man someday.”

May the story of Karen inspire us all, fellas, that in the brink of death, God sends His angels to protect and save His faithful and needy people. Lately, she responded positively to a social media plea to support an outreach program for the poor and the needy by a school governing council in Ilocos Sur.

Good luck, then, Karen. We wish you the best of everything.

Good luck Prof. Alma. God might use you again someday to perform another miracle.

Good luck, Mayor Chavit. May you continue to be the miracle in the lives of the needy.

Good luck, too, Kapihan Iti Amianan. May you continue to air inspiring stories for all of us to live by!●