January 1 is Brit milah

January 1 is Brit milah:
The Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord


While our Jewish brothers are celebrating this biblical feast, I thought of sharing my personal story of crossing the bridge to manhood:


TRIVIA: Majority of filipinos are circumcised. It is a Filipino tradition to conduct this operation between the months of March to April. It is socio-cultural norm to be circumcised before a man reached adulthood.


Out of peer pressure,
childhood friends dragged me to go to the dreaded Mang Sipyo

(a non-medical person who performs circumcision without anesthesia and formal training)

I was in grade 5 then
in an attempt to prove a premature machismo,
I brought with me my dads puruntong (a huge bermuda pants in the late 80’s), and joined the gang in a kilometer march to ilaya, where Mang Sipyo conducts the operation.

I swear it was the longest walk ever.

It never came in to my mind to inform my parents about the elective surgery. I felt like throwing-up all the gallons of saliva I swallowed due to anxiety while on queue.

When its already my turn, I surrender my “boy” and placed it on the chopping board.
I told myself:


Mang Sipyo handed me a handful of bayabas leaves

“o nguyain mo”
“alam ba ‘to ni Mang Danny
(my dad)?”

I nodded.

I chewed the fresh leaves and held my breath with my sternocleidomastoid stretched like it will snap anytime.

FACT: Bayabas (Guava) leaves is used for cleaning and disinfecting wounds by rinsing the afflicted area with a decoction of the leaves. This has been approved by the Philippines’ Department of Health.

Mang Sipyo aimed the chisel-like aparatus to the foreskin and


I felt like I’m floating in a time warp,
flashing right in front of me are scenes from my childhood.
All I can hear is a muffled voice of Mang Sipyo yelling:

“Ibuga mo! Ibuga mo!

“spit it out!

The next thing I know, I’m in the hospital bed with my folks around me.
I immediately looked down, and checked if “it’s” still there.
wrapped with operating gauze, It felt numb.

Apparently, I fainted and rushed to a small secondary hospital for proper wound dressing.
Despite the fact that my mom’s gonna kill me once we get home,
and my dad hiding a restrained laugh at my hopeless shrewdness,
I’m exhaling in relief that it’s over, I’m done with the baptism.

And that’s the start of my manhood
as well as the start of putting my boy down there in constant trouble.


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  • fetus

    January 2, 2010 at 6:15 am

    lol. nilunok yung bayabas.
    I don’t know why you fainted? but i guess i’ve seen a lot of them faint too. hehehe. i don’t think it’s the pain that causes those boys to faint but rather the shock and the liberation from “totoyness”… lol.
    natawa talaga ako nyang ay tanga part. hahaha…

  • flip'n travels

    January 2, 2010 at 7:16 am

    hello Fetus

    I guess the fainting has something to do with my pseudo-phobia with blood. and the fact that i wasn’t properly briefed on what will happen, I really thought I was castrated or something to that effect, HAHAHAHA! I sort of overcame it when I became a nurse though.

    Thanks for dropping by!


  • Nomadic Pinoy

    January 2, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    that’s a rite of passage I wouldn’t painfully remember – my mom had me circumcised while I was still a baby. so “my boy down there” got into trouble way way earlier he he he!

  • flip'n travels

    January 3, 2010 at 5:26 am

    Nomadic Pinoy,

    well, lucky you!
    maybe that’s the reason why i have a high level of empathy to boys i circumcised whenever we do “operation tuli” in the provinces during summer.


  • flip

    January 3, 2010 at 6:54 am

    sheeet? ito ba yung manu manong tuli? parang traumatic ah! me doctor namang nanunuli hehe painless

  • flip'n travels

    January 3, 2010 at 10:03 am

    right… i was really adventurous ever since. i want the good old “pukpok” method
    epal lang… 😛


  • Manileno

    February 21, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Just out of curiosity, does one done through a “manunuli” look different from that done by a “doctor”? Me wonders….hehe I wish I had also the same experience since it makes you feel more proud about the experience, more macho.

  • flip'n travels

    February 22, 2010 at 10:59 am

    hi manileno…
    after years of clinical practice, i’ve seen a lot and believe me, they do come in different shapes and sizes. hehehe. however there’s no distinctive morphology between one done in the clinic and the traditional puk-pok. and i never asked the patients, hahaha
    i agree with you, it adds bravado. thanks for dropping by!


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