Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

.2 kg. lighter, Pancit Canton, and a search for a title!

Posted on July 13, 2005 by jimparedes

It’s gone. This thing on my neck that I’d been carrying with me for 27 years is no longer. It started in Baguio when I had just gotten married. I woke up and saw a lump on the left side of my throat that had appeared overnight!. Throughout the years, it had grown until my trachea had actually become crooked because of the pressure from this lump attached to my thyroid.

Today, I am .2 kilos lighter after the operation and thyroid-less. Dr. Cabalona, my surgeon and my endocrinologist Dr. Kasala decided to take out the whole thing since statistically, males who have thyroid lumps the size of what I had usually had cancer cells in them. Today, 5 days after the operation, I was told that mine was not cancerous. What a relief! But then I suspected deep down that it probably wasn’t cancer since I am quite in touch with my body and I felt healthy and cancer-free.

Right now, I am fine although my body is tired and exhausted. My vocal chords have been retained although it will take me a few weeks to be back in my usual singing form. Meanwhile, I like staring at the mirror and seeing a lean neck for a change and wearing shirts buttoned all the way to the collar. This way, I can hide my bandages until I heal totally.

I love the new Medical City. It is a spanking new hospital with very efficient and caring nurses and staff. The rooms are bright and pleasant and look a little like hotel rooms. One of my good memories about my stay there was waking up to my song ‘When I Met You’ in the recovery room right after my operation. I actually cried when I heard it, not just because I felt it was so thoughtful of them to do that but because I woke up hearing myself talk and realized that I did not lose my vocal chords, my single great fear about the operation. I cried when I realized that despite my mental preparations, I know I am not ready to stop singing.

During my stay at room 714, while the Philippines teetered on edge due to the countless demands by the various sectors for PGMA to resign, I felt passionless and above the fray. My concerns were modest—like how to navigate using the toilet while attached to a dextrose, and how to sleep on my back with as little movement as possible so I do not strain my stitched neck. You might say that I was totally not into the macro view of things but quite absorbed with my everyday practical needs. To while the time, I looked out the window, read my book, slept when I could and bonded with Lydia and Ala who took turns sleeping in the room. Ala brought her mac computer and let me listen to music she liked. Lydia helped me entertain visitors and made sure I was fed well and not straining myself.

I am at home now as I write this and just taking it easy resting my weak body, even if I know that by next week, I will be waiting on Lydia as she goes through a hysterectomy. As I was undergoing my thyroid operation, she was having her D&C. This is another thing we worry about although we are quite relieved to have been informed that the abnormal cells found inside her are not yet cancerous. She will be operated next week. I will be staying in the hospital with her until she is ready to go home.

I thank everyone who called, visited, texted and wrote to show their care and support when I was confined. If it is not too much to ask, please do the same, and pray for Lydia’s speedy and complete recovery as well.

My son Mio is having the time of his life in Oxford. Within the first two days, he had 5 sets of friends already. Among his friends is Zelda Williams, comedian Robin’s actress daughter who is ¼ Pinay!. Mio is easy to like. He has a ready smile, plays the guitar and easily shares his stuff with people. His American friends seem to have developed the taste for the instant Pancit Canton which he brought grudgingly after his mom suggested he bring them for midnight snacks. He now says he should have brought more so he could sell them! Ha ha! Moms just seem to know everything, I tell you!

We will be off on another tour before the end of the year. As usual, we are again at a loss for a tour name. After so many years, medyo mahirap na mag-isip! I would like to ask you dear reader for a title that is, a) within the spirit of what APO is all about b) friendly to and aimed at the Fil-Am market, c) gimmicky, smart, and suggests fun and excitement. Please avoid APO Spring Tour 2005, or anything with posila attached to it. I’ve submitted my list and I just know that the producers will ask for more. If we do use your title, I promise a CD signed by the three of us.

32 to “.2 kg. lighter, Pancit Canton, and a search for a title!”

  1. jey says:

    thank God everything went well.

    indeed, the new Medical City has become a comfier place to be in when you’re sick. i’ve covered their blood bank for some transfusion demos.

  2. slim whale says:

    i’m glad you’re doing fine now. hope everything goes well with Lydia, too.

    by any chance, is she into painting pottery? i remember i had a grand time painting in a pottery shop in greenbelt. there was this nice woman named lydia who they said was the wife of one of the APOs. or maybe i’m mixing things up…

    i’ll try to come up with titles later.

  3. JULIA says:

    Dear Jim,
    God is good!
    Glad to know that everything went went well with the surgery and most of all that the thyroid mass is benign (Benru told me so when I talked to him. His impression of it then was that the mass is benign, but would really go for it to be excised since it has grown so much that it is making your trachea deviated, needless to say must have caused a lot of discomfort. Of course patho results confirmed that the mass is benign (not cancerous). Thank God. Jun and I prayed as soon as we knew about this and on your surgery day. I texted you last week and I hope you got it. We will pray for Lydia’s safe and smooth surgery too.
    Yes, the new Medical City is a hi-tech, modern hospital comparable to big hospitals here in the US. Many of my batchmates and friends are practicing there. Jun’s younger sister (and my batchmate too), Dr. Ma. Lourdes “Joy” U.-Concepcion, gave me a tour of the then newly constructed Medical City, a few days before I went back to the US last year. She heads the Blood Bank Section of Medical City. She is a pathologist, acupuncturist and a Tai Chi instructress too 🙂
    Wishing you speedy and full recovery and our thoughts and prayers for Lydia’s surgery next week.
    Best regards. Take Care. God Bless.

    🙂 J & J

  4. balikbayan_box says:

    Praise God!

    Mabuti naman at naging matagumpay ang surgery mo. Sana patuloy ang iyong pagpapahinga at ng tuloy tuloy na maging mabuti ang iyong pakiramdam.

    Patuloy po ang pagdarasal ko kasama na ang iyong maybahay na si Lydia!

    God bless, neyburhud!

  5. jack says:

    good day mr.jim,

    it’s good to know that your operation went well. i’ll pray for lydia too..
    god bless to you and your family sir. oh and good health too.. have a great day sir

  6. jed says:

    Hi master Jim!
    Thank God ur safe I kinda miss your posts. nga pla they removed your endocrine? Di kaya macocompromise ang over all health status mo nyan? Importante pow kasi ang endocrine eh dba?

    try nyo lang:

    1. APO4u: a tribute 2 the Filipino’s living abroad
    2. APO ng Amerikano, Dugong Filipino

    pxnxa na kung medyo lame I just woke up and my creative juices is nowhere to be found. LoLs..

  7. BabyPink says:

    alhamdulillah! (praise be to God!)

    it’s very good to hear that you are okay now, sir.:) don’t worry, lots of people will be praying for mrs. lydia, insha-Allah. me included.:)

    please do take care po.:)

  8. Anonymous says:

    Good to hear your son is doing well, I thought about him when I heard about the London train in the news.

    Yay!! on your successful operation too. Good graces are bestowed upon the good-doers, so I’m sure Lydia will pass her surgery with a big YAY!! too.

    With sincere idolation,

  9. Ms.B says:

    I’m, one of them and i would just like to say: thanks to HIM! oh, tour names.. let’s see… how about: “Up and rocking APO” (whatever);-)

  10. Ms.B says:

    oh, one more thing: i linked your site to mine.. hope you won’t mind 😉 THANKS!

  11. ~C4Chaos says:

    great to hear about your recovery. godspeed to Lydia. she’ll be fine.

    so is Seattle in your itinerary?

  12. DarkBlak says:

    welcome back!! Godspeed to Lydia 🙂

  13. spongemom says:

    hi sir!

    with the help of God I know you will be able to get well soon.

    I also linked you up, I don’t u hope mind too. 🙂

  14. Anonymous says:

    Speedy recovery to you and Lydia!

    Thought I’d put in some title ideas (medyo corny, pero join na din ako)

    1. Awitan at Kwentuhan ng Apo
    2. Awitang Pinoy On Tour (o diba andun pa din yung APO)

    -Napadaan lang-

  15. Lorna Aquino says:

    hi! i know what you feel right now kase lahat ng yan naranasan ko na rin before. i was operated september 1999 pa at makati medical center and i suffered at least a month na mahina ang boses.

    Get well soon.

  16. enigma says:

    glad your doing well Jim! keep well. =)

  17. Jim says:

    Jey, Julia, Balikbayan box, Jack, Baby Pink, Anonymous, darkblack, lorna, enigma—salamat sa bisita, at sa get well soon.

    Slim whalle–Lydia had a shop in Eastwood, Podium and Greenhills. She did pottery painting among other things.

    Jed, Mrs. b, anonymous–salamat sa mga suggestions sa pangalan. Will submit them.

    Grace, Mrs. b–yes you can link me . No need to ask.

    If I missed out on anyone, thank you na rin. I am sincerely grateful for all who prayed for me. I just want to say, all prayers and goodwishes were recieved and used (and still being used) for healing.

    Coolmel–no word yet on seattle.


  18. ang says:

    oh gosh. i could only imagine the fear of losing one’s singing voice. i would just be absolutely mortified! i’m glad you’re recooperating in a timely manner. i also hope Lydia will have a successful operation.

    i should try to come up with titles later.. =)

  19. gabriela says:

    Babanat na naman din po ako.

    1. Handog ng APO sa FilAm:
    (1906-2006)Centennial of Filipino Migration to the U.S.

    2. The Best of Apo Tour:Kornykopia ng Apo at Pidro

    3. The Best of Apo Tour: Aporado kaming Makapiling Kayo!

    4. Alamat ng Apo Tour

    Salamat sa Dios naman at okay na si Mang Jim. Dadasal din po ako para sa inyong mahal sa buhay.

    Pasensya na po kung medyo makulit.

  20. K says:

    Great it went well!!! Thanks to HIM!

    got some suggestions:

    >Gettin’ jiggy with APO
    >Let’s get funky with APO
    >APO: Kahit Pa Saan Tour!
    (Dahil mahal namen kayo)
    >APO Gig 2005
    >APO Todo Na’to
    >APO ng Filipino!

  21. Teena says:

    Hi Tito Jim!
    i said a little prayer for you and i’m glad it’s been answered as always. Tita Lydia will be in my prayers, too. no need to ask. 🙂
    i’m so happy for Mio, Aycs and Ala. they’re all doing things they love and they know how to give back. i certainly hope my kids turn out like them.
    i hope it’s not too late by the time i get to suggest titles for your concert tour. 🙂 have an exceptional weekend!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Good day Mr. Jim!

    I’m June Taguiwalo from UP Praxis. Our org will sponsor LASPONGGOLS at the UP Film Institute this friday, July 22. Baka naman po pwede niyong i-promote sa blog niyo yung movie 🙂 Kung ok lang po sa inyo 🙂

    Sana po makapunta rin kayo sa friday 🙂

    Thank you.

    P.S: Good thing your operation went well. I wish you and your whole family Good health. Take care po

  23. Stephanie says:

    Hello Jim,

    I’m glad everything went well and you’re okay now. And thank God for that. Sorry, nakikisali na rin ako dito sa blog mo =). I just couldn’t help it. Na miss ko na rin kayo with Danny and Boboy. I hope everything goes well with Lydia. I’m sure she’ll be fine. Three months before your show here in Atlanta, I had a hysterectomy. It turned out it wasn’t cancerous. I was very thankful for that. I’ll pray for you both and the family. God Bless!

    By the way, your son Mio, he looks a lot like you! He’s so cute!!

    Best regards and take care.


  24. benjie says:

    greetings from cebu!

    my family and i are fans of APO. in fact, even my 12 year old son knows your songs by heart and my 4 year old daughter seems to be catching up.

    we hope that you will soon get up and sing to the millions of filipinos once again!

    here are my suggestions:

    1. Eto nAPO kami!
    2. The APO Experience
    3. Singing with APO
    4. Just Having Fun with APO
    5. Para sa inyo, APO

  25. Jim says:

    hey ang–am so thankful I did not lose it although I have to rest to recover mmy full range.

    gabriela, tryx and benjie–thanks for the titles. will forward them.

    stephanie–it’s always reassuring to know someone else has gone through this ‘unknown’ we are facing. Thank you so mmuch.

    Teena–thanks also for the prayers. Yes, so proud of my young ones. Someday, your children will shine too and you will know how great it feels.

    June Taguiwalo– Ayan. Na-plug ko na. I may watch on friday. tignan natin!

  26. Noel says:

    Glad to know that your operation went well and youre up and about.
    Our prayers and best wishes to Lydia.
    I really do believe in the old saying that ” we are, what we eat! “
    Am sure your healthy lifestyle was a contributing factor to your recovery.
    All the best to your coming road trip!

  27. amz says:

    hi sir jim…just wanted to share that my mom had a hysterectomy when i was younger. it’s been more than 15 years and she has been much healthier since. the Lord is good and i’m sure He’ll be holding ma’am lydia’s hand throughout.

    just a thought…gosh, i miss those film showings at the up theater…what the heck, i miss my college days in general! hahaha…the up environment is a world of its own! hahhaha

    Titles? hmmm…1) APO: Bringing you closer to home; 2) Homeland Grooves: APO concert series 2005 [or something to that effect]…yun lang po muna. hehehe

  28. kaDyo says:

    God is good all the time!!! we’ll pray po for your fast recovery.
    pwede po bang i-link ko kayo sa blog ko.

  29. chocolategirl says:

    i was browsing through blogs and came across yours through buhaynidan.blogspot.com. it’s fascinating to come across blogs by celebrities like you. (yeh connect to the peeps!)

    i am a fan. and i want that autographed cd! so here goes ……… i suggest:


    (in the event i get the autographed cd – hee hee – i’m at margauxsalcedo@yahoo.com or check out smilingfilipino.blogspot.com or realhotchocolate.blogspot.com)

    oh and migs naguiat may have my number.

    ps when’s the concert and where in the US? i may be there at the time …

    pps congrats on and to your son. oxford was my dream university. still is.

    pppps (grabe daming p!) the way you and your wife are going through these medical/physical challenges together is so inspiring.

  30. Alan Don says:


    Bayang Magiliw Tour


    APO for President: The Campaign Tour


    APO Flies Again: The New US Tour


    Blue Jeans: Ganito Kami Noon, Ganito Pa Rin Ngayon

  31. nikki says:

    it’s good to know you’re well and your son’s doing well mr. paredes =) i thought of a possible name for your tour too, “Walang Kupas: Ang Kumpas ng APO after 30 years”.
    i hope for your speedy and full recovery =)

  32. Anonymous says:

    hello sir,

    i’ve constantly been reading your blogs. i am so glad you are okay and that thing isnt cancerous at all. may God Bless you.


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