Back in our community rotation during internship Len-Len and I were marooned to a far away barangay in Batangas. Community rotation was fun because I was able to catch up in my comic book readings while Len-Len and I were squeezing ourselves in a tiny papag bed. “Anong binabasa mo?” I asked Len-Len as he had been reading something in his Palm Pilot (Palm Pilot!) for hours now. “Harrisons. Hay, nakatapos ako ng isang chapter today!” he exclaimed. Nahiya ako sa sarili ko.
Len-Len was particularly popular in the community for his white glowing Chinese skin. “Anong secret mo dok? Ahihihi” the BHW’s would ask him. “Natural yan,” Len-Len would say with conviction. A couple of years ago while still pre-resing in Internal Medicine HTGOF was furiously charting amidst the kainitan of the wards. While everybody else was sweating and getting grimy and stuff just by sitting in the wards, a patient’s bantay approached HTGOF from out of nowhere and said something like “Totoo ba yang kutis mo, parang porselana!” A few months later, already an IM resident, HTGOF woke up, went to her bathroom, looked at herself in the mirror and said to herself, “I’m quitting Internal Medicine. I’m going to be… a dermatologist.” (I am just imagining this epiphany scene but something like that must have happened.)
I’m pretty sure this is a generalization but there must be something in the oriental gene that renders their skin hairless and poreless. While getting mucky and grimy and oily in the humid HK weather upon entering a train car Uni-Horned Beef Jerky Alanis Whore and I noticed three generations of women sitting across us. No matter the age they were like walking shafts of light. Now I am not vain at all, in fact I am the opposite of vain ie, I have no grooming skills. Looking like trash has served me well in life. But in this particular instance the three women were just… glistening.
“Uni-Horned Beef Jerky Alanis Whore,” I said. “Ilabas mo yung iyong…. blue tissue na pangtanggal ng oil ng muka!”
UHBJAW did with a sense of urgency. We frantically wiped our oily faces.