Dis 31, 2014

Annotation 1: Angeles’s “Mga Tala ukol sa Sakit ni Mama ayon sa Kanyang mga Sintomas”

In this story, Angeles [1] depicts in great detail both pain and the studious reflection on it. Her protagonist, Jestine, employs search engines and online encyclopaedias in order to get a grip on her mother’s dementia. She counteracts her mother’s loosening grasp on reality by blogging exhaustively about her own efforts to maintain her studies, the household, the blog itself, as well as her own sanity.
Ginawa ko ang blog na ito para mailabas ang lahat ng saloobin ko. Heto ang aking account ng mga nangyari sa aming pamilya lalo na kay Mama at ang mga instances kung kailan sa tingin ko ay nagpahiwatig ang mga sintomas ng sakit niya.
The use of the blog as the narrative frame opens to Angeles the possibility of using reverse chronological order (as in Solacito [2]). Instead, she opts for two layers of normal chronology with Jestine keeping track of her mother’s deterioration (from Jan. to Oct. 2011) and publishing it as eight blog posts from Oct. 4 to 26. Chronicling takes meticulous effort on Jestine’s part: remembering events and images, dialogues, the copy-pasted symptoms, and then piecing these things together.

The spider comes in as an important image here. Jestine perceives the progress of an actual spider by paying frequent attention to the the webs it leaves in her mother's room. She also extends the image to describe her mother:
Napaliligiran ng mga bagay na bumubuo sa hinahabi niyang tahanan. Si Mama, ang tagalikha, ang nasa gitna naming lahat pero dahil sa bigat ng mga nakadikit sa sapot niya, nakaapekto ito sa kanya. Hindi niya kinaya ang bigat. Mag-isa niyang sinusulsi ang sapot kapag may nasisira rito. 
In the course of the reading, we learn that the attributes of spider apply also to Jestine, that the blog is her very own web. Or, that the blog serves as an aid to the creation of an interior web, one from which not even its maker can escape.


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[1] Angeles, Kathleen Siena A. “Mga Tala ukol sa Sakit ni Mama ayon sa Kanyang mga Sintomas.” In Eskapasismo. Unpublished thesis. March 2012: 59-87.
[2] Annotation 1: Solacito.