Writing The First Part of My Life

Issa Bacsa's first birthday

Taken during my first birthday, April 1970

On my old website, the menu consisted of: Life, Works, and Writings.

Life, as a blog category, was about me. Narcissistic as it may sound, but as a writer, narrating one’s life is a major step towards openness to all writing possibilities. If I don’t know myself, how could I write about someone or some things about this world we live in?

So here I am, writing the first part of my life, the part where I know nothing of personally because of my literal youthful innocence. The information came to me mostly as second- and third-hand accounts.

My life as a TV soap opera

I’ve always said that my life is like a TV soap opera. One thing that is very common in Philippine soap opera is the story arc about a child separated from its parents at birth and the life-long search afterwards. Ever since the days of Anna Liza during the ’80s, to Mara Clara during the ’90s, to Pangako Sa ‘Yo in 2000 and its current revival, that timeless (or overused) plot has never failed to grace a TV story.

Imagine a Chinese teenager or young adult in the late ’60s who got herself pregnant, either a rape victim, or a teenage girl whose boyfriend had left her to suffer in shame. Unprepared for the mother role, her pregnancy had become a turning point in her life. She decided to go through with it and accepted Fate and not commit an abortion. She had no support system back then. She might have hidden her pregnancy from her parents and gave birth to twin daughters in a charity hospital without their knowledge. Uncertain of the future, and don’t have someone to hold on to, she left her children at the hospital for six months without plans of returning. So the hospital decided to give up the twins for adoption or transfer them to Hospicio de San Jose.

How I was “adopted”

Meanwhile, the sister of the doctor who delivered the twins, informed a childless nurse about the adoption. The said nurse, married to a Filipino-Chinese for three years, couldn’t afford to adopt two so she only brought home one child leaving the twin sister behind. She filled up a birth certificate on 16 April 1969 and declared me, Marissa Nasis Uycoco, as her real daughter.

The young Chinese mother, on the other hand, reconciled with her parents and told them the truth. They returned to the hospital to claim the twins but got home with only one and couldn’t find the other until now.

Such story may be unbelievable, but true. I already accepted the fact that my twin and I are not destined to see each other in this lifetime. However, I am very grateful to my biological mother, who in her times of trials, never decided to commit abortion. I am a living proof of that gratitude.

And if ever you have seen someone who looks like me, please make sure it’s my twin sister, not a doppelgänger, and tell me.

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