A second lease on life

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Friday, August 15, 2014


“DILI tanang tao naay chance to grow up, dili tanan sa mga na-aksidente maka-survive (Not all people have the chance to grow up, not all who have been through an accident survives).”

This is how Kareen Mae Biene reflected on her near-death experience as a child way back 2000.

She was hit by a speeding pick-up and a motorcycle while crossing the street in December of that year. She was in first grade then.

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Every December 25, Biene said that they have their annual family reunion in her father’s side and during that time they were staying in her grandma’s house which was located along the highway.

She remembers that she was asked by her father to buy something from the store across the highway.

“Nagtan-aw man ko ato left and right tapos timing na naay gikan sa jeep na nagbaba sa akong right side. So sa akong pagka-remember ato after sa jeep wala nay sakyanan ato so nagcross nako, pag-abot sa center didto na nako nakita na naay pick-up na paspas ug padagan ato kay retiring general ang nakasakay unya murag naa silay ginahabol na meeting or unsa ba ‘to (I looked at left and right and someone from the jeep went down on my right side. So in what I can remember after the jeep there were no vehicles around so I crossed the street, upon reaching the center there I saw a speeding pick-up with a retiring general inside the car who it appears was already late for a meeting or something ),” she said.

She was hit by the side mirror of the pickup, which pushed her toward an oncoming motorcycle carrying two passengers and a bag of rice. The next thing she knew, she was already in the hospital.

“The motorcycle driver said that he was hesitant if he will hit the brake or hit me, but hitting the brake will mean I will be crushed and so he swerved toward my right. I got a fracture from that,” Biene said in the vernacular.

Biene suffered a fractured right arm and she also had stitches on her head, tongue, neck and knee.
Since she was still young at that time, she did not put any meaning on what happened. But she was able to ponder on it as she was growing up.

“Sa kagamay nako before kato rang na-side sweep ug gilatayan murag amazing siya kay gi-save pa ko ni Lord and gihatagan pako niya ug chance to live and if ever namatay siguro ko ato dili siguro nako maabot kani nga moment sa akong life (I was very small then and yet only my arm was hit and ran over. The Lord saved me and gave me a chance to live,” she said.

Biene, recently graduated as cum laude in Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology at San Pedro College.

She has always been a conscientious student. Right after her accident, she remembered asking her father to buy her pencil and paper so she can practice writing with a cast on during the Christmas vacation.

Biene graduated as valedictorian both in elementary and high school. She went to elementary at Mt. Matutum Christian School and San Lorenzo Ruiz Academy of Polomolok for high school.

She also said that the accident made her realize her dream to be a doctor. A dream that she is currently working hard for right now as she will be taking her Med Tech licensure exam and will be proceeding to medical school.

Thirteen years after the accident Biene is still afraid of crossing streets. But the accident has also made her determined to do as much good for her family as she can.

“I do not want to end my stay here in the world not doing something to give back to my family, I want to make them proud and pay back all sacrifices that they have done. I also want to help my relatives),” she said in the vernacular.

“Nice mag-live (It’s nice to be alive),” she added saying that experiences and blessings bring valuable lessons all throughout.

“Blessing gud siya in a way na maka-learn ka maging strong kay maskin una pa na siya kagamay kay may value (Even small experiences bring lessons),” she said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 16, 2014.

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