A visit to Fr. Victor Badillo S.J.: RAM, Facebook, and the cyst surgery

Yesterday I visited Fr. Badillo in the Jesuit Residence.  He stays at the infirmary there.  The porter already knows my name and the nurses’ faces are becoming familiar.  I usually visit him every Thursday, between 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.  I don’t know if there is a significance to this.  But Thursday is the day for priests and 2:00-3:00 is the last hour of Jesus’s agony on the cross.  I was not able to visit him for two weeks because of it was the first weeks of the semester: i have to prepare for my classes among other things.  I tried to visit him last Thursday, but the porter said he is asleep.

I dragged a chair from the nurses’ station and walked towards Fr. Badillo’s room.  The comfort room is immediately at the right side of the door.  Straight ahead is Fr. Badillo sitting on a chair.  He wears a white T-shirt and pajamas.

“You’re done with your snacks, Father?” I asked.

“Yes, I idid,” he said.  “I did not left anything for you.”  And he laughed.  His usual snacks are two slices of wheat bread and one glass of milk.

“My condolence, Father, for your sister.”

“Yes, please pray for her.  She passed at the age of 86.”  Fr. Badillo is 79 years old.

. . .

“I don’t know why is my computer slow.  Do I need more RAM?   Can you check my computer?”

I looked at the computer and paused.  I am not a computer geek.  Where do I find the RAM?  The ram caught its horns among the thorns and Abraham sacrificed it in place of his son Isaac.

“Turn the little switch on,”  Fr. Badillo said.

It was a little metal stick shaped like an exclamation mark.  It was hidden at the back part of one the computer table posts.  I turned it on.  The computer is still black.

“Turn the other switch on,” he said.  It was the power supply.  I turned it on and and the computer.

I do not anymore remember what I did.  I think I looked at the properties of his computer.

“The RAM is 240 MB, Father.”  I said.

“That is weird,” Fr. Badillo said.   “The number should be 64 MB, 128 MB, 256 MB, 512 MB.  The 512 MB is now the standard.”

When I was still teach back in Bacolod about seven years ago, the RAM in our computer was 16 MB.

“Do you have a Facebook account?” Fr. Badillo asked.

“Yes, Father.”

“There is something there that says ‘What’s on your mind?’  What do I do with it?”

“I think you just type whatever you feel like writing and all your friends can read it, Father.”

“I don’t know why I don’t receive anything.  I have all these questions: Please confirm if you and such and such are friends.  What do I do with it?”

“Just click confirm, Father.  And you will receive news about them.”

. . ..

“Genie said that she wants to visit you, Father.”

“Genie who?”

“Genie Lorenzo.  She wants to come with me today but no one responded in her room when I phoned there.”  Genie is a friend of mine at the Observatory.  She works on Air Quality.  She worked at the Observatory longer than I.  She knows Fr. Badillo.

“Ah, Genie,” he said.  “Please tell Genie that I will have a cyst operation next Wednesday.”

“You have a cyst, Father?”

” I have a cyst here,” Fr. Badillo said and pointed to his left abdomen.  “If Genie comes, it must be on the day before that.”

. . .

“I am sorry, Father.  I think I shall cough.”

“You have cold?”

“Yes, Father.”

“You have to stay awy,” he said.

“I’ll go now, Father.”

“Ok.   Thank you for praying for my sister.”

About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

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