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:
(WARNING: MAY BE TOO GRAPHIC FOR WEAK STOMACHS)
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:
“THIS IS IT!
TOTOY NO MORE!“
Mang Sipyo handed me a handful of bayabas leaves
“o nguyain mo”
“alam ba ‘to ni Mang Danny (my dad)?”
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!
AY TANGA! BAKIT MO NILUNOK!”
“spit it out!
WHY DID YOU SWALLOW IT, STUPID!”
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.