"Operation Big Brother"

I can't help but eavesdrop.


'Tol, kaya mo 'yan! Oh kuya, ako na mauuna ha! Mauna daw matatapang eh...

Masakit daw eh, pero sabi naman nung isa parang kagat lang daw ng langgam...

Uy, ihi muna tayo para 'di tayo maihi 'dun mamaya...

Ang sabi dapat daw 'wag na tayo mag-brief eh...

Kinakabahan ka ba? Ako konti lang...

Eh ako excited!

Mama! Mama! Ayoko talaga! Natatakot ako!


Anak 'wag kang iiyak ha? Kaya mo 'yan...

Sige, kakain tayo sa labas mamaya pagkatapos basta wag kang iiyak...

Kaya mo 'yan anak ha?

'Wag ka kakabahan, may anesthesia naman anak eh...

Sabi ko na nga ba eh! Ayaw mo at iiyak ka lang! Sa isang taon na naman!

Huminga ka lang ng malalim anak, 'wag ka matatakot ha...

Andito lang kami, aantayin ka namin hanggang matapos ka...


Last Tuesday, I went to my friend who also happened to be my dentist. I was on my way to her clinic when I saw a bunch of people waiting outside. Well, it's not really her clinic but she works there and I regularly go there for my "dental needs". I knew right away why those people were there when I saw some boys who went out from the clinic holding their shorts in a weird manner. And then bubble thought... " Ay summer nga pala, baka nagpapatuli sila".

It was a project of a certain fraternity in that school (I miss college days). The free circumcision are for indigents, they need to secure a barangay certificate of indigency to avail this free service - one day only. The actual procedure was free and they were also given some medicines (I guess painkillers and antibiotocs) and a packed lunch. Wow free circumcision with free food! Nice. (That's what really fraternities should be doing.)

still waiting...
When I was there (at around 1 p.m.), they were already calling number 49, and there were still a lot of boys waiting for their turn. And as I was observing the scene, I saw that there were 2 or more guardians per child - much more than when I need to see those guardians during Parent-Teacher's Conference. Whoa! It's really a family affair! 

war zone
Circumcision, in our culture, is a right of passage for the boys. It's their entry point to manhood. And according to some, it's for good hygiene. But according to Wikipedia (as estimated by the World Health Organization), only 30% of the males worldwide are circumcised. I remembered my childhood days when circumcision was done in rivers by an "albularyo" with no anesthesia and the mode of payment was through a bottle of Gin or a pack of cigarettes.

"Uy binata na siya oh!"
"Kuya 'di pa tayo tapos 'wag ka muna umalis!"
Before, I really don't like children - any age. But the universe has its own way of returning a favor - I became a teacher. So their noise is like music to my ears now and I can tolerate their naughtiness. Mixed emotions. You will hear encouragements and then you will hear defeat. Some were smiling while others were sobbing. It was a very cute scene. The kids felt like it will be doomsday for them while the adults can't stop smiling and laughing at the their reactions. When I saw and heard the boys and their parents, I can't help but smile. 

"Patingin nga nung sa'yo, bakit 'yung sa'kin ganito?"
I went inside the clinic after 15 minutes. And inside was the war zone. I immediately went to my friend and asked her about the free circumcision. When we went to her cubicle, I saw what I didn't wanna see. There were naked bodies everywhere. (Quota na 'ko sa naked bodies for this year.)

Kamote! Nakita pa 'ko ng crush ko, sablay 'to
I settled myself in my friend's dental chair. The clinic is a cubicle-type so you could hear the people on the other cubicles. We chatted for a while and proceeded to the very reason why I was there. The cleaning and tooth filling (5) was not a scary thing for me 'coz I wore braces for five years, thus, going to the dentist is as easy and effortless as walking or breathing. As she was filling one of my tooth, we heard a loud shriek in a very creepy manner. And then he shouted, "Mama ko!" for like 33 times! Yes, I counted it. No other word came out from that boy but that. We giggled at first then sympathized. We heard everyone - doctors, nurses and volunteers - who comforted the boy. He was so scared and you could feel it from his voice. And while he was still shouting his now (in)famous line, someone said, "Kuya tapos na! Binata ka na!". And then clapping after that. We were so relieved. All that happened with a cubicle divider separating us. And someone said, "Gaano kadami ba ang mama mo? Ang dami mong natawag kanina ah". 

We feared for the other boys who heard him shout and cry. After that boy, we heard the next one, he was so excited and talkative. No crying, no shouting just pure talking. It's as if they're having an afternoon snack on a park. 


my friend/dentist and her candid shot
I heard the terror and the triumph of the boys. I saw how delighted and proud the parents and guardians were. I also saw how Filipinos value and honor traditions. And I felt how closely knit our families are. That really made my day inspite of the 36.5 deg.C. temperature.

***Thank goodness for camera phones***


  1. hahahahaha.. Yun yun na nga! Sarap naman, na unleash na yung sakip. hahahahaha

  2. hi tim! I can only imagine how painful it is...It's just nice to see those kids na parang 'yun na 'yung turning point ng mga buhay nila...cute

  3. hi there bech! yeah! they're really cute at mayabang pa dahil binata na! hehe


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