“HOW TO REMAIN YOUNG AT HEART: THE MUSICAL DRAMA”
Music by: Jeremiah Calisang
Lyrics and Libretto by: Adolfo B. Bellosillo, MD
Jai Sabas Aracama, mezzo soprano
The University of the Philippines Concert Chorus
The FLEHD Ballet Artists
Choreography by: Ronilo Jaynario
Direction: Adolfo B. Bellosillo, MD
Act I - The demise of J. J. Acura
At dawn, this young executive felt dull, pressure-like-heaviness kind of chest discomfort accompanied by difficult respiration, and cold sweating. He was rushed to Makati Medical Center where he was diagnosed to have suffered from acute heart attack. A few hours later, he expired, despite relentless resuscitative efforts.
At his wake (“God of our fathers”), were his family and relations, friends, and physicians who each had a story, opinion and pieces of advise that the living may learn from his life story.
(“Clinical History”) J. J. Acura was a 36 years old, young executive well on his way to the top of the corporate world. A graduate of an Ivy League school, a consistently “A” student, in his class he was the cream. He just could not stop pursuing higher goals.
With a burning desire to serve his own people, to his country he returned to fulfill his noble goal.
But J. J. , while still a teenager, was already noted to have hypertension. A chain smoker and an inveterate couch potato , he was not into some heart conditioning physical activities.
His death left his wife and three children sorely missing Daddy (“A Family Loss”), who will no longer be around to see his children grow, whose hands will no longer be there to lift them up as they stumble, and whose comforting arms will no no longer be there to ease the pain of Mom.
Can a heart attack occur without the person feeling any kind of discomfort (“Silent Heart Attack”)?
What is the process that led to the disease, snuffing out in an instant his dear life with ease (“The Root Cause Of It All”)?
One common manifestation of an imbalance between the need by the heart muscle for oxygen and supply is chest discomfort (“This Thing Called Angina”). Unfortunately, of those who have coronary artery obstruction, 75% do not have symptoms and among those who develop frank heart attack 25% do not feel chest discomfort.
The process of atherosclerosis develops due to a cluster of factors, some modifiable, while others are not (“Risk Factors For Atherosclerosis”). The more risk factors an individual has, the more vulnerable he gets to the development of serious complications of atherosclerosis, among which are sudden death, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and erectile dysfunction.
One non-modifiable is heredity (“Look Into Your Family Tree”). And interestingly, it is presently claimed that the formation of atherosclerosis starts while the fetus is developing (“The Fetus And Atherosclerosis”) under suboptimal intra-uterine environment.
Happily, most of the risk factors are controllable, whether major or minor (“The Modifiable Risk Factors” and “Haw Haw Hee”).
Act II - The Day Time Activities of J.J.
Act III – The Night Life of J.J.
An incorrigible night owl that he was, still he would wake up at dawn for his early morning routine, breakfast of milk, eggs and ham, to drive his kids to school, to be in his office at 8 a.m., board meetings at noon, and back to work an hour after. Cocktail receptions often he would not miss.
And while most would go straight home after the early evening socials, J.J. would stop at his favorite watering place for some ease and some foam and for more entertainment. (“Exercise To Your Heart’s Content”; “Personality and Coronary”; “Hypertension: The Silent Killer Killer”; “Smoke Gets In Your Heart”; “Ode To Corpulence”; “Cholesterol: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly”; “Never At Dawn”.
Disregarding the admonition for the club habitués to proceed straight home, J.J. Acura had other plans.
Act IV – The Fatal Coronary Event
At a motel, the unexpected struck with all its might.
Act V - Epilogue
(“In Summary”) At an early age, he was like a walking time bomb, ready to explode at any time, at any day. His risk factors should have been discovered and modified. He could have been protected by intake of medications taken at the time when they are most needed (“At The Crow Of The Cock:). Prevention (“Prevention: The Better Solution”) could have slowed down the obstructive process and could have delayed very much the onset of serious complications. But for prevention to be maximized, public education on matters pertaining to the heart must be made available to all people form all walks of life (“Out There”).
Act VI - Adieu (The Final Farewell)
“My Beloved One”
“Song of Thanksgiving”
“Song of Farewell”
LIST OF SONGS
NOTES ON FLEHD SONGS
ADOLFO B. BELLOSILLO, M.D PROFILE
JEREMIAH CALISANG PROFILE
JANET SABAS ARACAMA PROFILE