Whenever I say I got a twin sister, my students have the same reactions and that is disbelief. “Oh Ma’am, is that so?” “What’s her or his name?” Their disbelief is followed by so many questions and a request to show some pictures of me and my twin sister. And then, when I show our photographs together, you’d imagine how their eyes show more doubts. Ha ha ha. It’s as if I am just making stories. It is because the concept of young people about twins is only limited to identical twins or those twins who have more or less or exactly similar physical features especially at the face.
I could not blame them because I myself only learned about the other type of twins, the fraternal twins, during my Psychology class in college. We grew up adjusting to the beliefs of people that twins should have similar thoughts, physical features, likes, dresses, haircuts, personal styles, and even friends. There was one teacher when we were in Grade 2 who even insisted that I should cry because my twin sister was crying. She thought that I should feel the way as my twin sister was feeling. Isn’t that ridiculous? Of course, I did not cry. In my mind, we were different and we could not have the same thoughts and feelings at the same time.
Don’t get me wrong here. We have good relationships as twin sisters since we were in our mother’s womb. My mother’s womb which I thought was just one. But having one is actually for identical twins, which got one egg developed and later divided into two ova. Meanwhile, fraternal twins are just simultaneous birth with two eggs developed in separate placentas. That is the reason why we do not share the same beat of our hearts because those are separated from the very beginning.
Today, my twin sister is celebrating her birthday and I will be celebrating mine tomorrow. I know what’s on your mind right now. “How in the world is that possible for twins?” Ha ha ha, once again. You ask my mother. Joke. We were born in 1985 when ultra sound and other equipment for knowing if the baby inside the womb is already as big as the fist or if it is developing normally were not accessible. Obviously, my parents did not even know that they were expecting twins. Plus, they could not even afford exclusive checkups and only sought help from the Health Center in our village.
So, when the light was succumbing to the dark of the night on September 22, 1985, my sister was born through normal delivery with the help of the traditional ‘hilot’ (midwife) contacted by our folks. My twin sister was now out in the world and I was still inside and people did not even know that I existed. Ha ha ha, for the third time. My father used to tease me when I was younger saying that I was so lazy and a sleepy head because it was my time to come out and I was still sleeping inside. My dramatic entrance to the world was actually a torture to my mother. Imagine that she had given birth to a little baby and there was still one inside! What do you think they did then?
My mother was rushed to Lucena United Doctors Hospital at Lucena City. It was a private hospital which readily accepts patients who could pay. OMG! How could they be able to pay afterwards? But, at this moment, they had no choice; it’s either both of us would die. Through caesarean operation (I don’t even know why it’s called caesarean), I was delivered by my mother at exactly 2:39 in the morning of September 23, 1985. My mother got a big scar on the lower part of her tummy because it was cut there to give way to my special arrival on this earth. Ha ha ha, for the fourth time!
Now, you know why we had different birthdays. I fell asleep inside while Dina was on her way out. And I got my mother in her most dangerous and critical situation! Don’t blame me though, I did not know, of course. Because I had hospital records, her birthday was officially registered at the same day as mine, September 23, 1985. Then, it later came out that I was registered twice, one by the ‘hilot’ at the local municipal registry with Sariaya, Quezon as my birth place and then by the hospital at Lucena City with Lucena City as my birth place. I got trouble with my two NSO birth certificates when I was about to graduate from Southern Luzon State University in 2008. Affidavits here and there. Palm face.
Based on the hospital records, my mother and I stayed at the hospital until September 27. My twin sister was left in our grandmother’s house and was breastfed by my aunt who later became her godmother. When the bill came to my father’s hands, the whole family was troubled and did not know where to get money to pay the hospital. Told you so. But God is good. A good-hearted woman, Mrs. Norma Manese, spouse of the town mayor at that time, lent her ring to be the collateral of their debt in order for us to go home. Mrs. Manese also signed a promissory note to assure the hospital that they would pay the bill. I really do not know how they managed to pay the debt but the papers of my mother showed that until 1986, they could not pay the liability fully. The hospital then hunted the kind-hearted spouse of the mayor because she was the one who signed the promissory note. What a disaster I caused these people!
When we were growing up, we were figuring out how we became twins because we had different birthdays, different personalities, different physical features and heights, even different zodiac signs (she’s Virgo and I am Libra). We grew up with the same circle of friends and always in the same section from kinder to elementary to high school and even during our college days taking up vocational programs. Looking at our physiques, you’d know I got the more dominant personality. Dina was a timid and shy girl when we were in elementary days while I picked fights even with the boys in the class. In high school, she became more outspoken. I got even more expressive as years go by. One evidence is this post. ;-D
This story happened 29 years ago. I thank God for my life which has been exciting since our birth. How I was brought into this world was an amazing grace! I deeply offer my gratitude to my mother who painstakingly delivered us into this beautiful world. To my father whom I got my good looks, ahem, I give my respect for being so dependable and ever responsible. To my twin sister, Dina, thank you for everything that we share from the moment we were conceived. I love you with all my heart. Thank you for being my best friend and my lifetime partner in crime! HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BOTH OF US!
This photo was taken on May 18, 1986. It was during the fiesta in our barangay. We were baptized during the mass in our small ‘tuklong’ (church).
We were at our maternal grandparents’ house at Navotas celebrating Christmas. Taken on December 27, 1986.
Back to my paternal grandmother’s house in New Year of 1987. Taken on January 1, 1987.
Taken during the birthday of my Inanang Anita, the mother of my father. Look at our bangs! Ha ha!
Ha ha ha! I’ve got smart-alecky look while Dina showed a very behaved attitude! Taken on our way to our kindergarten’s graduation. Take note of our matching outfits!
We’ve got matching outfits during Recognition Day from Grade 1 to Grade 4. We wore these red polka dots dresses during Recognition Day when we were in Grade 2.
Memento of our simple celebration of our 18th birthday! Taken in September 2003.
This is our latest photo together taken just last September 10. I am wearing my teacher’s uniform and Dina is wearing her office uniform. She works at the Human Resource Department of the Local Municipal Office of Sariaya, Quezon.