Twenty-eight

Manila

TWENTY-EIGHT is what I now tell my patients when they ask me--usually with fascination, occasionally with suspicion--how old I am. It never fails: I barge into a private hospital room, auscultate a patient’s chest, and a relative, usually an elderly lady, tells me how smart I must be, still so young and already a doctor. This explains why I always carry a stethoscope around my neck even if I don’t do rounds, or why I wear long-sleeved shirts even on temperatures that leave most people dehydrated after sweating (plus the fact that I'm in Internal Medicine, where tucked in, rolled-on shirts are the norm).

Changed

In what I would consider as the closest thing I've had to a two-day weekend, I witnessed friends from church share their conversion testimonies during baptism. The venue was a private pool just blocks away from the church building. A colorful tarpaulin shielded the rest of us from the intense morning sun. We must've looked like a family on a reunion, or an outing—the look of anticipation and excitement on our faces must've been unmistakable. The baptism ceremony is something I personally look forward to year after year, if only to remind myself of my own coming-to-Christ narrative.