Manila, Philippines – DR. Camilo Porcioncula is a cardiologist, the heart doctor of Nestor Mata the Immortal One. Columnist Mata is chronologically 86 years old, born in 1926, but historically he’s 55 years old, re-born in 1957, when he survived the plane crash that killed President Magsaysay and everyone else on board.
The good “Dr. Heart” Porcioncula celebrated his 80th birthday last Wednesday by publishing his autobiography of 97 chapters chronicling The Four Chambers of My Heart, referring to the four-persons-in-one that are/is himself: cardiologist, educator, artist, and gentleman farmer. And yet Mr. Mata doesn’t think four-in-one is enough. “CP plays golf, plays the violin and the piano by ear, and acts on stage,” says the older octogenarian of the younger one. To which the younger one adds by way of reminiscing those years when he “attended to patients in three hospitals, taught medical students, residents, and fellows, served in the Philippine Heart Association, managed our farms, painted my favorite subjects, and shared my life with my family.”
And now he has written a book.
Are octogenarians genetically predisposed to be more active than septuagenarians? It appears they have more things to do, have more fun doing whatever multiple tasks they’re up to, and still have time to read, recollect and write, from memory. Octogenarians have a great time standing up for each other, there being so few of them. I think of our chairman, Dr. Emilio Yap, and JPE, Tony Pastor, Manuel O. Chua, and I wonder where their energy’s coming from. The 80-something Roquito Ablan says it’s “from knowing you’ve done one good deed for the day.”