Friday, February 17, 2012


"Scars remind me that the past is real." (Papa Roach)

I remember when I was about six years old. My beautiful aunt, her friend, and I were walking towards the nearest market. It was hot that day and the town road wasn't cemented yet. I remember feeling very jealous because my favorite aunt was happily talking to her friend while I had to be on the side. I recall not understanding what they were talking about and feeling very stupid for not being able to interject smartly or just plainly contribute to the conversation. I was wearing my slippers then and the road was dusty and rocky. I tripped. I still carry the same scar today. At the center of my left knee, shaped like a squinting eye.

I was about four years old then. I liked wearing shorts so a mosquito bit the back of my right thigh. It was very itchy so I scratched it until it bled. My grandmother was a frustrated doctor and I was her first patient. She treated the inflamed mosquito bite with a sticky white liquid from a jackfruit. She also boiled leaves she found in the backyard and applied it to the wound. It got so big and probably very infected, she had to take me to a real doctor. I remember the pain I had to bear when the real doctor injected the huge wound with an antibiotic. Today, whenever I wear shorts, a prominent one-peso coin is embossed at the back of my right thigh.

I was in a different place, with my parents for the first time, and I was about five. I was at the living room. My mother was gently rubbing a warm towel all over me. We had to go see a real doctor. I was sick with chicken pox. I wasn't worried then about the spots until it began to heal and I saw that I looked like a dalmatian. My mother told me it will heal well. But a scar remains on my face; the one at the bridge of my nose. I carry it proudly today because my mother has an identical mark.