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What is it Like to Have a Twin? The Pendoza Sibs Share the Experience

Medically reviewed by Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS · Pediatrics · Philippine Pediatric Society

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Sep 05, 2022

What is it Like to Have a Twin? The Pendoza Sibs Share the Experience

Chances are, you’ve probably wondered what is it like to have a twin, especially an identical twin. It could be interesting to see someone look very much like you, but not you. We recently got in touch with twins  twins Cindee and Candee Pendoza, and asked them to share what life is like to be identical twins.

Here is their story:

Can you tell us something about yourself? What are you busy with these days? Do you have other siblings?

Candee: I am the youngest child. I describe myself as timid and composed most of the time. I can say that I’m a bit opposite of my twin sister because I’m the serious one. Others, like my colleagues, would tell me that I’m talkative/very informative, keen to details so I’m very strict, and a good listener and advisor regarding relationships, health, etc. I’m also interested in arts and animations, movie/TV marathons, and eating/drinking sessions with my Dad and twin. Recently, I’m into doing research regarding health and natural healing, psychic senses, and higher dimensions.

Cindee: I see myself as the more shy twin. I literally shut myself. Most of the time, I like to just listen when someone is talking. I only talk when needed or if I do have input. If I have ideas in mind, I try to express when I can. I am busy these days doing a lot of research and writing.

Yes, we have 3 elder siblings: 2 elder brothers and 1 elder sister.

what is it like to have a twin

Do twins run in your family? Were your parents surprised? 

Yes, we’re actually the third generation of twins on our mother’s side. It was our great grandmother who was the first in the family to have a twin sister. For the second generation, we have one identical and the other is fraternal. It’s cool that we were able to meet our titos, who are also identical like us, since they’re still in the country.

When our Mom was still alive, we asked her many times regarding a lot of things, which included their reaction when they found out that she was having twins. We asked our Dad about it too. They both said it was really nice and they were very excited, though they didn’t really expect or plan to have more than 3 children.

Cindee: Twins running in your family is one of the misconceptions we hear all the time. I’d like you to know that you may not have it in your family on both sides, but you can start that. Yes, you can have twins and they’ll be the first generation in your family.

Candee: Nowadays people can choose to have twins or multiple babies even if there’s none in your family (through IVF). This is how fast technology is developing.

Were you delivered via C-section? According to your mom, was it an easy pregnancy, or did she experience some difficulties?

Yes, we were delivered via C-section. There was 2 minutes interval. According to her doctor, once a woman has undergone a cesarean delivery, her succeeding should also be on the same procedure.

It wasn’t an easy pregnancy. Our mom was carrying 2 babies, which was a total of 12.2 pounds. There were pains and it was scary. We kept moving inside with all the rumblings and kicking. She felt like there were snakes inside her tummy. It was difficult for her to lay in bed face up or ventral side up because she finds it hard to breathe. There was a time when our mom peed, she felt Candee’s head while rinsing so she had to push Candee back inside.

 In many cases, usually for practical reasons, parents often give twins the same things (toys, clothes, etc). Did you like it? At what age did you want to have different things?

Cindee: Yes, that’s very much true. I do like it because there won’t be a sense of jealousy. I never thought of having different things. What happened with us was that they just gave us something else on birthdays, Christmas and New Year’s, and we got used to that.

Most of our hobbies are the same and we like mostly the same things. But when I try think back, I guess we started wanting something different at age 7. That was the age when one of our aunts brought us to SM Megamall to choose what we wanted as a gift.

Candee: It is true. We experienced being given the same clothes and the same toys. I love and enjoy having the same clothes, hairstyle, and things. Sometimes, there’s a distinguishing mark on the gifts so we won’t get confused. But we share other things from time to time.

I only decided to have a different haircut when I started to work because I needed to tie my hair. For the clothes, I would buy the same design for me and my twin so we still have something in common even at this age. And we also have an Aunt who would still give us a twinning blouse or pants, etc.

During your childhood, did you often get sick at the same time? How was it when one feels unwell? Did your parents separate you from each other?

Cindee: During our childhood, we didn’t get sick ‘often at the same time.’ But when one gets sick, expect the other to follow. The time we both got sick same time was in Grade 3.

Candee had been sick for 3 consecutive days and they found out that she had a fever. I was immediately checked too and VOILA!!!! I too had a high fever. But mine was stage 1 and she was stage 2.

No, we weren’t separated. I actually prefer to be in one room with my twin. It’s just so fun.  There is this bond that others won’t understand unless you too have a twin and are close. If the sickness is something that can be transmitted or wasairborne, then I’d be separated from Candee. I must admit it though that it would be extremely boring if I were alone. When we are sick, there is this sense of comfort from the other if we’re together.

Candee: We don’t often get sick at the same time. However, we both feel sad or uneasy when the other is unwell. Unlike other twins, we don’t believe that we have to be separated. We’ve been staying in one room since we were born and still do until this time, in our 30s. Cindee is right. If the sickness is easily transmitted, we’ll definitely be apart. But with today’s technology, we communicate online if needed to be far from each other.

Growing up, were your family and friends confused about who’s who? How did you deal with the confusion?

Candee: Yes, some of our family members and friends still get confused to this day. Sometimes it is my twin who confuses other people just like what happened in college.

Our professor called her name and she immediately pushed me while saying “you are called.” Being called on the spot made me flush red so the professor thought that I am really Cindee and our other classmates also got confused. I’m happy when someone gets confused because not all identical twins still look alike.

Cindee: Some of our family, relatives, and friends are still confused. It’s a lot of fun really. It’s like a mini prank even if we don’t intend to do that. I was once was walking in Glorietta Mall in Makati to go to the office of my twin when her colleagues passed by looking at me.

They were staring weirdly, in shock and with a confused face. I smiled and was thinking were they looking at me. Then they said, “Candee nagpagupit ka?! Kanina ang haba ng hair mo at iba damit mo.” (Candee, did you have your hair cut?! Your hair was long earlier and your clothes were different). There are a lot of instances like that. I laugh and just tell them that I am not Candee.

what is it like to have a twin

Were you classmates in school? How was it like studying with your twin? Were you compared with each other? Some twins struggle with their “identity” as they grow up. Did you go through the same struggle?

Cindee: Yes, we were classmates in school at some levels. Nursery, Junior Kinder, and Kinder, we were classmates. We were separated from prep until high school. In college, we were classmates in first, second, and fourth year. In third year, we spent half a semester in a different section and half in the same section.

I never had to struggle with my identity. I think we both never had that kind of problem.

Were we compared? I guess so, yes. There are areas wherein Candee excels and there are others, where I do. It’s something natural and I don’t mind that.

Candee: It was fun to be in the same class with my twin. Often times we were compared to each other. We had also been compared with our other siblings. But I don’t think we struggled with our identity. Many of our classmates were amazed by us being twins and we became popular in a sense, which others don’t appreciate. Having said that, our struggle in studying would be more about  our classmates who bullied us in college.

Cindee: We are the same in a lot of ways, like our hobbies, the songs we like, the love for travel and learning new things. We both may love drawing, but our expertise differ. Cands is amazing with anime and I happen to excel in another genre.

Our personalities are different. DNA is also different. We are all made differently; all unique. Candee and I may be twin,s but we don’t have same fingerprints and penmanship.

Candee: I agree that our personality is different. Our views and perspective in life are a bit different too. There are things that we love and appreciate, just like what she mentioned above. My friends are her friends, and vice versa.

Some people believe that twins have this “special connection,” like one would know if the other one doesn’t feel okay even if they’re not physically together; do you experience that, too?

Candee: Twins have a different connection depending on how they’re brought up. As for me and my twin, I can say that we have a special connection that only twins who are together and well-bonded would understand.

Cindee: Special connection…for me that’s an all caps, YES! It may or may not be applicable to others.But to us, it is. It’s not all the time but there is that special connection like when I was feeling this electric thing on my leg, she also felt that at the exact time when I was experiencing it. And we both were laughing. That happened in school and a few of our friends witnessed that.

Sometimes, what we think is the same. There are times she is thinking of a song or a movie and then she will hear me sing or mention it, and vice versa. Sometimes when we are sad, we will know the other is too when we both get home and talk about it.

There are things twins say or do that only they can understand. We have that kind of connection because of the closeness we have. When we look at each other, we have this special language.

What medical challenges are particular to twins you think? Are identical twins more prone to certain conditions? Did you experience them in your own lives?

Cindee: It depends because based on studies identical twins are prone to Autoimmune Thyroid Disease. But for me and Candee, I think it came with age. I don’t think we experienced any medical challenges as a twin except for being premature babies. Twins and other multiple babies are prone to premature birth. Some might even have congenital heart defects. Now, I can say that for me and my twin, we didn’t really have any problems in our childhood days.

Some twins might have birth defects, but those can be prevented especially the neural lobe defects if the mother drinks folic acid before and during pregnancy.

Candee: For the types of twins, like conjoined, Siamese, etc. it would depend on the situation like which part of the organ or body is attached that would affect the other twin. Other pregnancies may experience a case of bacterial infection, which may enter the fetus and trigger health issues on either twin. Medical conditions may vary depending on the person’s lifestyle, stress encountered due to personal problems and work, etc.

If you want to give advice to parents who are expecting to have twins, what would it be? How about a message to twins in their teenage years?

From Cindee

To the parents who are expecting twins, congratulations! Can say that you would need extra medical care and more nutrients like folic acid, protein, iron, and calcium because it is not a joke carrying more than one baby. If your twins are identical, give them something to remember who is who while a baby.

If you’re having a girl, you can do what our mom did. She gave us different earrings. Candee had the red earrings and I had the green. You can also have bracelets or even name tags. You can even have a different color of clothes. Don’t worry, you will eventually see the difference.

Your attention will be split. You can give one twin to daddy and one twin stays with mommy; then switch. Both would want to be with mommy, I know, which is why I was given to our dad and became a daddy’s girl. Also, please try to avoid having favorites, as it will hurt the other one. Parents may not say it, but we can see and feel it.

Also, do not compare. It is good if you give attention and spend time with both equally. Not sure how you plan to discipline your children but do remember that communication is the KEY.

My twin and I, are part of the generation wherein when our mom looks at us, we behave and keep quiet. (Makuha ka sa tingin.) It’s a way for us to know we made a mistake and that we should not repeat it. Kids nowadays are far different.

No matter what you do, try not to yell or shout at them. Setting clear expectations is okay for kids as it helps to set boundaries and responsibilities at a young age.

To the twins, love each other. You can support each other, especially when you feel like the world is against you and you have no one to support you. As a twin, you can find themoral support you need.

Also, love and respect your parents. Make your parents your priority and develop a positive attitude towards them. Try not to think or bring up bad memories. I know it can be difficult for some. They may have their jobs to look after you (I know my mom did), so make sure you do well in school.

Keep in mind that when you were born, their decisions, especially mothers, were based around you. So every morning or when you get home, give them a hug and say I love you. It will make you feel really good inside and am sure it’s the same with your parents.

Lastly, do keep in mind that it’s good to seek advice from your parents and share good news and achievements with them.

From Candee

To the future parents of twins, remember to love and cherish your kids. Don’t let either one of them feel like a stranger. Be more understanding of their shortcomings. We all have our differences. Some may be a late bloomer, others may have difficulty in focusing, please be patient. Just make sure that you set a good example and never fail to remind them of your love and explain things so they would understand you more. Ensure that you have open communication within the family so issues can be resolved and your bond will be much stronger.

To the twins, always love each other and help your twin to become a better version of themselves. Support one another and be happy. Discover and don’t waste your talent, practice to enhance your skills.

Learn more about Parenting and Adolescents here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS

Pediatrics · Philippine Pediatric Society

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Sep 05, 2022

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