When you gather thousands of doctors—internal medicine specialists at that—from all over the country you would expect palpable egos trying to topple each other, but on this rare occasion—the annual convention of the Philippine College of Physicians—everyone spectacularly and unabashedly dropped their egos so that they (we) could fall in line… for free ballpens! Free paper bags!!! Free giant labada bags!!!! Free Starbucks coffee!!!!! And my favorite… free Skyflakes!!!!!! We all had our senses up, for new stuff being wheeled out of warehouse doors, so we could run after them with no poise even as they were being delivered to pharmaceutical company booths! An enterprising credit card company has sensed this kinda embarrassing collective desire for useless stuff, so the company’s rep has offered me an umbrella, and as I was about to grab the umbrella wide-eyed, trembling, soul-less, and slobbering for more–FOR MORE!–useless stuff, the rep pulled it back and replaced it with a credit card application form!!!!!
“Hindi libre ang ballpen na yan, chinacharge yan sa bawat gamot na nirereseta mo,” Demonicus Trifecta admonished Dead Diasphoric Dreiree. “Sa bawat ballpen na kinukuha mo, sampung piso ang nadadagdag sa bawat piraso ng… waith, is that line for Krispi Kremes? Bukas na ang Krispi Kremes booth? Krispi Kreeeeemes!!!!!”
Yes, shamefully, everyone puts their guards down in these sorts of conventions. But at least we personally paid for those TGI Fridays and Fish Co lunches. Oh wait, they were crap.