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The Two Women I was Scared Most as a Child

One was an aunt of my father, the other was her daughter. The mother and daughter tandem of my childhood life of terror were known to us as ๐˜ˆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ Feling (grandmother) and ๐˜‹๐˜ขฬ€ Ciรณn (aunt).

Like life playing tricks on me, their house stood a fence away from the church and just about 150m away from our school which made it nearly impossible not to see them.

๐˜ˆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ Feling had healing powers using her crafty fingers. By pinching and pulling the skin of the nape of sick people with her index and middle fingers, theyโ€™d supposedly be relieved of whatever pain they suffered from -like headache, dizziness and erectile dysfunction. I wasnโ€™t sure really. The dark red parallel lines that decorated the napes of her patients were enough reasons for any child to avoid her.

Her daughter, on the other hand, was less quacky. She was a midwife. In our barrio, the midwife was the closest we could get to a doctor or a nurse. And by being so, gave her the license to administer injections. Only a psycho child fancies a needle prick. I hid pebbles (as weapons) by the entrance to our house in case she dropped in unannounced. 

They were the last people on earth that I wanted to be trapped in an island with. The day I left home to study in Manila became my Independence Day from terror.

I donโ€™t remember seeing them again after high school. The older one passed on unnoticed while the younger one married a German and migrated to Germany.

By my beer-drinking age looking back, I knew they meant well and my fear, not really unfounded, was just a part of the stuff every childhood memory is made of. Something that I can now look back on with fondness.

Because I was once a child.


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