IT'S very welcome if reassuring news to Pen Medina's peers and friends that the veteran TV and film actor's critical spine surgery was a success and the talented man is definitely on his way to recovery.
It was Pen's son Alex who first disclosed on social media that his 71-year-old father was in very bad shape.
Pen was diagnosed by his doctors to be suffering from degenerative disc disease (DDD). Once at night, he was said to have twisted his back, rendering him unable to stand nor sit.
Alex posted that his dad had already been confined for three weeks at the time of his announcement and needed to go under the knife.
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Jobless since the pandemic struck two years ago, Pen also saw his savings depleted.
This is the reason why Alex appealed for prayers, but more importantly, some monetary help to get the operation done.
While Pen's health condition earned public empathy, the actor was nonetheless criticized that his son had to desperately seek help on his behalf.
Having been in the industry for as long as one can remember, hasn't Pen saved enough?
Even his other son Ping was not spared from the heartless netizens' bashing, which had nothing to do with the medical crisis. They vividly recalled how Ping once begged netizens for money in the same way, except that he needed the financial assistance for his birthday.
Even if he told all and sundry that he ran out of money to pay his condo unit's monthly rent, netizens were hardly moved by Ping's sob story. It seemed to this lot that this family of talented actors has a track record of "panghihingi" whenever problems arise.
But really, the Medinas as a family only sought help for their patriarch's life-saving surgery. Ping is in a league of his own.
One compassionate netizen posted a valid point, "Kung wala rin lang kayong maitutulong, tumahimik na lang kayo."
Despite the flak, the family of Pen hardly reacted to the cruel bashers. Of course, what mattered to them was how to address the problem instead of compounding it by talking back.
The operation was initially scheduled for July 19 and eventually took place two days later.
We could surmise that the family needed ample time to raise funds for the surgery.
Thank God the procedure was a success, only that the medical team had to monitor Pen's condition to avoid possible infection.
Alex has yet to personally thank his dad's donors. His sister intimated that as soon as her dad recovers, he will return to what he loves the most, and that is painting.
All is well now, and in no time will Pen spring back to work soon.
* * *
Do we smell an intense word war a-brewing between Vice Ganda and Bayani Agbayani in the days to come?
As we all know, "Tropang LOL (Lunch Out Loud)" serves as the 11 a.m. pre-programming for "It's Showtime's" 12:45 p.m. airing on TV5.
Once, Bayani, who hosts LOL, thanked their director for keeping a tight watch on their program, particularly keeping it from going overtime.
While Bayani meant no harm by what he said, Vice Ganda thought otherwise. Slighted, the Showtime host countered, "Bakit may nagpaparinig? Bakit may nakikisali?"
VG's sarcastic reaction was immediately met with criticisms, with the netizens saying that it's only natural for Bayani to worry about overtime since it would affect It's Showtime and the rest of the programs scheduled on the grid, for that matter.
For the viewers' information, Tropang LOL's director Bobet Vidanes used to be the creative genius behind Showtime until he left the noontime show a year ago.
As Cristy Fermin announced on her online show, "Ano'ng masama sa sinabi ni Bayani? Saan ba ipinaglihi ng nanay niya si Vice Ganda, sa ‚patola'? Patolang ligaw sa bukid!"
Cristy was clearly referring VG's joking yet catty remark. VG actually didn't stop there but directed his comments to Cristy's guest that day, Alex Gonzaga, who he said could afford to wear clothes she had previously worn on her TV5 show,"Kasi wala namang nanonood sa inyo!"
Cristy has since been admittedly hypercritical of VG saying, "Tingnan n'yo nga naman kung paanong maglaro ang tadhana."
Apparently, VG didn't see the back-to-back programming of IS and TL coming.
Obviously taking Bayani's side, Cristy furthered, "Kilala ba ni Vice Ganda ang pagkatao ni Bayani?"
Bayani, no less, leads the production's opening prayer before Tropang LOL goes on air. Faithfully, they all believe they will be able to churn out a good show with divine intercession.
Part of Bayani's prayer reportedly goes, "Lord, bigyan N'yo po kami ng humility... Huwag N'yo kaming gawing hambog o mayabang."
We have yet to hear Vice Ganda's "resbak," or would he rather concede in silence as there's a tinge of truth to Bayani's words, after all?