It’s that time of the year again! No, we’re not talking about ogling at hot babes wearing skimpy swimsuits on the beach (although we like that very much, too). We’re here to discuss another popular summer tradition por da boys: Tuli time! It’s usually done during the sunny season to give kids ample time to recuperate from their, as Wikipedia puts it, male genital mutilation.
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If girls have to undergo the horrors of their first menstrual period, then boys have to agonize about getting circumcised. It's done primarily for hygiene, preventing dirt from being trapped inside the putotoy. According to studies, 93-percent of Pinoys are circumcised. As for the remaining seven percent, they must be robots with aluminum dicks.
Just like any other medical procedure, circumcision is nothing to sneeze at, especially when you’re in the middle of the surgery—baka magulat si Doc at magkamali ng gupit. But aside from worrying about getting your entire "love muscle" hacked, there are other factors to consider when undergoing a penis makeover.
We jotted ‘em down here a.k.a. 10 tuli-related memories and fears we had that ultimately made this surgical rite of passage more memorable.
THE IDEA OF ENDURING HOUSE ARREST WHILE YOUR PALS PLAY OUTSIDE
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As a kid at the peak of puberty, you have loads of testosterone, almost limitless energy, and most importantly, an abundance of time. That’s why sitting out for a couple of days because of your sidelined ding-dong is absolute torture. It's a total waste. It's like you’re Russell Westbrook and you get benched for a long stretch just several games into the NBA season. To quote Mark Wahlberg from The Other Guys: "I’m a peacock! You gotta let me fly!"
Unfortunately, you’re helpless when you’re freshly circumcised. That means no basketball in the afternoon, no running around, no biking, no tumbang preso, no horsing around. You’ll just be sitting by the window, watching your friends play, and feeling terribly envious. But such is the circumcised life. You’re just a boy, standing in front of the mirror, waiting for his penis to heal (that’s inspired by Notting Hill, BTW).
THE TIME YOU HAD TO CHOOSE WHICH "CUT" YOU WANT
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Yes, there are also different styles for cutting your penis’ foreskin. Just don’t expect Ricky Reyes to do it. There’s loose cut, tight cut, high cut, low cut, the so-called V-Cut (just look it up), etc. But as a young boy, choosing a specific cut is the least of your worries. You just want to have a successful surgery. Besides, no one’s going to notice the type of cut done on your little anaconda. Can you imagine someone telling you: "Uy astig, pareho pala tayong loose cut!"
The general wisdom is, as long as the cut is clean, it’s totally fine. You just don’t want any excess skin hanging on to your pride and joy like Sylvester Stallone on Cliffhanger. That’s why you need to go to a certified doctor or if you choose the traditional pukpok, a known elderly, who has done the procedure a hundred times before.
WHEN WE WERE FOOLED THAT GETTING CIRCUMCISED = GETTING A GROWTH SPURT
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Since time immemorial, circumcision has been linked to growth spurt. "Magpatuli ka na para tumangkad ka!" forefathers would say. As a little kid looking to woo the girls or land a spot on the inter-color basketball team, you welcome this theory with open arms and an open crotch. You become excited. You're willing to bleed if it means growing a few inches more. No pain, no gain—quite literally.
Unfortunately, here’s the sad truth: There’s really no correlation between getting your penis cut and reaching Yao Ming-esque heights (or even just gaining a few inches for that matter). Getting circumcised doesn’t result in a growth spurt. Store that in your brain so you don't feed kids bullshit assumptions when you're old. It’s simply coincidence since gaining height and undergoing tuli both happen during puberty. So don’t think that being tall is a direct offshoot of tuli. Itanong niyo pa kay Dagul.
THAT TIME WE ASKED IF IT WAS REALLY NEEDED (BECAUSE WE WERE SCARED SHITLESS)
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Here in the Philippines, it’s a definite yes. It’s not for health or hygienic purposes though. It’s a cultural thing. Your father got circumcised. You’re grandfather got circumcised. You’re great grandfather got circumcised. Heck, even Lapu-Lapu and Jose Rizal got their foreskins cut! We’re not exactly sure, but we’re 99.9-percent certain that they've been circumcised (how else can you explain their bravado to fight off the conquistadors?).
You're not a true Filipino man if you ain’t circumcised. It’s the long and hard truth (get it?). We’re sure you know this already, but just in case you don’t, circumcision isn't as prevalent in other countries, especially in Europe. According to our incredibly lazy browse of Google, only two out of 10 Europeans get cut. As Pinoys, we find that quite disturbing. A grown man who is supot, really? That’s embarrassing. But then again, it’s a cultural issue.
THE MOMENT YOU WERE TORN BETWEEN WATCHING AND LOOKING AWAY FROM THE OPERATION
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To watch or not to watch, that is the question. As a kid, you have a curious and inquisitive mind. You’re also stupid and gross. That’s why there’s this voice in your head telling you to watch your own Operation Manhood. But on the other hand, it’s also unpleasant—disgusting, even. The possibility of seeing blood splattered all over your dick is as enjoyable as watching Kuya Dick sing Rick Astley’s "Never Gonna Let You Down" for the nth time.
Doctors will tell you that you can watch. But we highly suggest that you don’t. There’s no upside for you. Unless you want to learn how to circumcise so you can do it to your supot friends. Again, don’t watch! Just close your eyes, imagine rainbows and butterflies or a humungous slab of juicy baby back ribs, let the doctor do his/her thing, and you'll be okay.
THE MOMENT WE REALLY WISHED THIS LEAF HAS MAGICAL PROPERTIES
Image via Glamomamas.com
Even before getting circumcised, you're already agonizing about the healing process. You want to speed up your recovery. According to our elders, a proven way to hasten the healing is to boil bayabas (guava in English) leaves. You pour the magic elixir to your pee-pee several times a day and wait for it to restore to full health. One reminder: Don’t drink it.
But still, there’s a lingering feeling that boiling bayabas leaves is dubious and bizarre. That it’s just a witch-doctor’s silly prescription. You check on your junk constantly to see if it's working. Most experts, however, will assure you that bayabas leaves are indeed useful for wounds. We’re too lazy to look up the medicinal benefits but we believe so, too—and so did the late Ernie Baron.
THE SHAME WE EXPERIENCED WHEN WE WERE FORCED TO WEAR SKIRTS
As a proud boy transitioning to be a man, wearing a skirt is the ultimate mortification. Diyahe, dude! It doesn’t matter if you’re Marilyn Manson, skirts are for girls only! But in true Pinoy circumcision culture, being freshly circumcised means sashaying in a palda. It’s part of the entire experience. Take a photo while you’re at it. Just make sure your skirt isn’t as flowery as Lito Atienza’s default #OOTD.
Even though it's possibly embarrassing, wearing a skirt is comfortable for newly cuts. It’s almost a requirement. It helps your penis avoid friction and other unnecessary contact, which will result in fast and furious healing. You can move better and sleep more soundly. Of course, the trade-off to your palda-wearing comfort is that you can’t get out of the house. You’d rather boil in steaming pile of trash than be seen by your crush in a skirt. Also a big no-no: skinny jeans. You can try loose shorts, but the middle part where the leg holes converge can be trouble to your sore junior. So skirts > shorts.
THE FEAR OF OUR JUNK LOOKING LIKE A GROTESQUE TOMATO
To-may-to or toh-mah-toh? That’s the least of your problems when your newly circumcised manoy gets all swollen. Or in more familiar terms: NANGAMATIS (let’s put it in all-caps for more emphasis). Eight out of 10 circumcised boys experience this. No, we just made that up. We just want to scare you a bit. But yeah, it happens. A freshly cut etits can get swollen and as red as Del Monte’s canned tomatoes if not taken care of.
Pangangamatis is the most dreaded enemy of a bagong tuli. It’s like King Koopa if you’re Super Mario. Or the word "Mississippi" if you’re Coco Martin. On a scale of one to 10, the level of pain you’ll experience is probably a solid "Putangina!" An inflamed ding-a-ling will only prolong your agony. So to avoid your junk from being all sore, just sit the F down and avoid any physical activity. Let your yaya get your meal for you.
THE ADDED BURDEN OF NOT LOOKING AT ANYTHING THAT CAN TURN US ON
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If a swollen and painful penis is the biggest enemy for the newly circumcised, not being able to watch sexy videos is the biggest concern. Again, as an adolescent, your testosterone level is at an all-time high. But unfortunately, when you’ve just been rid of your foreskin, you have to avoid sultry visuals at all costs. Because if you get a hard-on, oh, the pain can be unbearable! How unbearable? Mas okay pa sigurong magpa-tattoo sa dila.
Before, you only had to worry about Bikini Open or Baywatch. But now, with social media’s expansive reach, sexy is everywhere: K-Pop dance videos on YouTube, Andrea Torres' Instagram posts, random Vines, and ehem, our amazing Facebook. Then there’s also the nudity and hot characters on Game of Thrones. Trust us, you don’t want a boner when you’re newly-circumcised. Be patient, lads. In the meantime, just watch how to breed tilapia on Ating Alamin.
THE NUMERO UNO QUESTION WE REPEATEDLY ASKED OUR PARENTS, THE DOCTOR, AND OUR ALREADY-TULI FRIENDS
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"Will it hurt?"
Were you thinking of something else? Of course, young boys will always worry about the pain, no matter how advanced circumcision has become (i.e. laser tuli). They hear horror stories—mostly bogus—from older guys all the time, resulting to their unfounded fear. But it ain’t tuli without the aray. Overcoming the pain is the definitive test in joining manhood. Simply put, painless circumcision is cheating.
Besides, the pain isn’t that bad. The anesthesia injection to your shaft is the only thing worth worrying about. Next thing you know, it’s done. Safe to assume though, the struggle is real when it comes to pukpok mode. Just thinking about it makes us queasy. Imagine putting your precious on a wooden stool...then a wooden hammer whacks it hard. Ouch! As dramatic kids say these days: So much feels!
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Editor's Note: Results are based on DOE's latest test