Roe Aepoles Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

Dubai: Roe Aepoles is a cashier by profession. The deftness with which he counts the wads of notes in his hands is striking. It had better be, you might think. But if you watched him do it, you would be as much in awe. Reason: The fingers on Aepoles’ left hand are missing.

“I was born this way. But I have just learnt to manage without my fingers,” says the 38-year-old Filipino from Cebu in the Philippines.

Just stumps

A closer look at his left hand shows just the vestiges of what could have been his digits. All you can see are five stumps that fuse with his palm.

“It used to bother me as a child as my schoolmates back in Cebu in the Philippines would tease me. But my cousins were strong and helped me get support. As I grew older, I became very confident.”

Aepoles says he never feels disadvantaged.

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“I was an average student and went on to do a certification course in computer technology. I have always loved sports and can play basketball and snooker with ease.

"It doesn’t make any difference to me that my fingers are missing. I can grasp and release things from my hand quite comfortably.”

No need for prosthetic fingers

He says getting prosthetic fingers has never been an option as he has not felt the need for it.

Aepoles, who is married with a one-year-three-month infant boy, says he came to Dubai in 2015.

“I have worked in different public departments. My job interviews have been smooth and I have been given regular tasks to do. I have not faced any discrimination in Dubai.”

But yes, he admits, people do ask him how he manages without all his fingers.

“I have a stock answer: I can do far more than what many others can with all their 10 fingers,” he says.