Archive for the ‘Family Planning’ Category

Pat Robertson: Divorce is Justifiable if Spouse has Alzhaimer’s Disease

September 16, 2011

This may sound shocking to Christians who are very much against divorce. But Pat Robertson said that divorcing a spouse is justifiable (morally?) on the ground your partner is afflicted with Alzaimer’s disease.

Before thousands of his “700 Club” viewers Pat Robertson said that the disease is “a kind of death.” But while this may sound cruel it will help the other party to start his life again. But be sure the spouse afflicted with Alzaimer’s disease must be provided with custodial care before proceeding with the divorce.

Wow, I expect some loud uproar from other religious quarters against the statement of this controversial and popular television evangelist and host of a religious program. It will be understandable if a pastor, priest, or a nun will suspect him of having the disease himself for coming up with such an unpopular statement. I am not sure if this is really his relgious conviction.

Para sa mga pabor sa divorce bill sa Plipinas ay may kakampi na kayo. Nasaan iyong sinasabi nila sa mga ikanakasal na for better or worse, in health and sickness, till death do us part? A, may bago na palang kahulogan ngayon ang salitang “death” o kamatayan.

Kung gayon ay idagdag na rin natin iyong phrase na… till alzaimer’s do us part.

Tingin ko bago mag-asawa ay pagusapan na rin ang tungkol sa mga pagkakasakit at kung hanggang saan ang pasensiya at pagpapakasakit ng isang asawa sa pag-aalaga ng kanyang kabiyak na may matinding karamdaman at wala nang pag-asa pang malunasan kagaya ng Alzaimer’s disease.

Well, para sa akin ang pag-aasawa ay hindi basta kanin na isusubo mo na lang at saka iluluwal kapag napaso ka. E, paano na iyan kung kailan ka pa tumanda saka mo pa lang maramdaman na napaso ka na pala?

Para sa akin ang pag=aasawa ay isang napakalaking responsibilidad habang nabubuhay ka. Dapat ang salitang sarap ay hindi lang sa romansa nararamdaman. Dapat maramdaman mo rin ang sarap habang nagaalaga ka ng may malubhang karamdamang kabiyak.

Sorry Pat Robertson, iginagalang ko ang iyong paniniwala, ngunit para sa aking there is no such thing as Alzaimer’s death.

Kaya siguro tumanda na tayong, d…dalag, ay dalaga pala. Ang dahilan, ang magasawa ay hindi biro!

RED HORSE, RIDE ON ME BABY

September 7, 2010

Sa isang mall lasing na si Silvestre.

Masama ang loob, nagaway sila ng kanyang live-in partner na si Tita, dating GRO.

Kainoman niya si Carlota, isang utility worker sa amusement park kung saan ay sikyu naman siya doon.

“Inom pa nang makalimutan mo ang iyong problema.”

Sa halip na makatulong ay lalo pang ginagatongan ni Carlota ang galit ni Silvestre sa ka-live in nito.

Nakaka-apat na bote na siya ng beer na markang pulang kabayo.

Itinungga naman ni Carlota ang pangalawang bote niya ng beer.

“Lahat na lang ay ibinigay ko sa kanya. Wala nang natira pa sa akin, pati respeto ng aking mga magulang at kapatid.”

Tama naman sila, pumatol ka pa kasi sa isang pokpok”

“Iyan ang malaki kong pagkakamali… Hindi ko mapapatawad ang aking sarili sa pagpili ko sa kanya sa halip na ang aking mga magulang at kapatid.”

Lasing na rin si Carlota kaya naging matapang na siya sa pananalita.

“Mabuti’t nalaman mo na kay laki mo palang tanga at gago, ginagago ka na, iniiputan sa ulo, iniiwanan ng girlfriend mo, binabalikan mo pa siya.”

“Putang ina, anong pakialam mo sa buhay ko, kaano-ano ba kita para pagsabihan ng ganyan?”

Nagalit si Silvestre, nanlilisik ang mga mata halatang tinamaan sa sinabi ni Carlota.

“Easy ka lang, kaibigan mo ako hindi kaaway. Ikaw na nga ang pinagmamalasakitan.”

Dito na bumigay at humagulgol ng iyak si Silvestre.

“Mahal ko kasi siya, mahal na mahal…”

Yumakap siyang parang bata kay Carlota, at sa pagitan pa ng mga malalaking dibdib nito sumubsuob ang kanyang mukha.

May init sa katawan na nadama si Carlota habang nakayakap sa kanya si Silvestre at ang mukha pa nito ay nakapatong pa sa kanyang mayamang dibdib.

Marahan niyang kinalagan ang sarili sa mahigpit na pagkakayakap sa kanya ni Silvestre. Hiyang-hiya siya at kanina pa sila pinagmamasdan ng mga katulad nilang customers sa foodcourt. Ngunit alang-ala kay Silvestre na lihim niyang minahal ng napakatagal nang panahon ay tiniis niya ang lahat.

“Okay lang ba kayo Miss,” ang tanong ng security officer na rumisponde pagkatapos may nag-radio sa kanya na may eksenang nangyayari sa foodcourt.

“Lasing lang ang kasama ko, iyuuwi ko na siya.”

Isinakay kaagad sa taksi si Silvestre at dinala siya sa mga magulang ng kaibigan.

Iyon na ang huling pagkikita nila ni Silvestre. Nabalitaan na lang sa mga kapatid nito na tuluyan nang iniwan ng lalaki ang kanyang girlfriend na GRO. Sa totoo lang siya ang iniwan nito dahil nagpunta sa Singapor ang babae para magtrabaho bilang bar girl doon. Nag-resign na rin sa trabaho si Silvestre at nakiusap sa mga kapatid at magulang na ipagpatuloy niya ang kanyang pag-aaral.

Nang umalis si Silvestre sa amusement park ay nag-resign na rin si Carlota sa kanyang trabaho para maiwasan ang tsismis at marami na ang nakakaalam ng eksenang ginawa nila ni Silvestre sa loob ng foodcourt.

Sa Canada naman pinalad makapagtrabaho si Carlota bilang caregiver. Malaki ang kanyang kinikita kaya napag-aral niya lahat ang kanyang mga kapatid.

Isa nang ganap na Engineer si Silvestre pagkaraan ng ilang taon.

Ngunit may kasabihan na kapag mahal mo pala ang isang tao ay gagawa at gagawa ka ng paraan para makita man lang o makapiling siya. Tinawagan ni Carlota ang bunsong kapatid ni Silvestre at nangumosta siya tungkol sa kaibigan. Laking tuwa niya nang malaman nitong binata pa ang engineer.

At tama ang kasabihan na kung ukol ay bubukol. Muling nagkita sina Silvestre at Carlota. Pero sa pagkakataong ito ay iba nang Carlota ang kanyang nakita, isang seksi at napakagandang babae. Mapera na kasi si Carlota kay kayang-kaya na niyang magparetoke ng mukha at katawan. Malaking halaga ang kanyang ipinuhonan para mabago ang kayang anyo. Ang dahilan ay para mapansin lamang siya ng isang lalaking lihim niyang minamahal.

Noon pa man ay napagtanto na ni Silvestre na si Carlota ang babaeng dapat niyang mahalin dahil may malasakit ito sa kanya. Hindi na nga siya nagka-girlfriend pa ng iba dahil nagbabakasakali ito na sa bandang huli ay sila naman ang magkakatuluyan.

Kaya walang oras na sinayang si Silvestre nang muli silang nagkita ni Carlota. Niligawan niya kaagad ito at hindi naman siya binigo ng babaeng may pagtingin naman sa kanya.

Maligaya nang nagsasama ang dalawa bilang mag-asawa pagkatapo ng isang simple but memorable wedding.
Ngunit sa unang gabi at honeymoon nila ay dinatnan si Carlota kaya ganon na lang ang pagkadismaya ng lalaki. Pero saglit na napawi ang kalungkotan ng lalaki nang sabihin ng kanyang misis, “Red horse, what are you waiting for? Ride on me baby!”

At iyong “ride on me baby” ay not only once but twice, and many many more. Tatlo na ang kanilang mga supling at magtatapos na si High School ang kanilang panganay.

Thy Condom Comes; The Politics of Contraceptives

March 9, 2010

This is the news, “Women activists present condoms to Philippine bishops.” What’s new? The Philippine Catholic bishops have been waging a bitter war with the government against the use of contraceptives. The Catholic church has never been weakened with its stiff stand against Family Planning and the use of artificial methods of birth control.

The Philippine Catholic Bishops have always been critical of any administration or political parties that support birth control and family planning. In fact presidential aspirants in the like of Senator Noynoy Aquino have been very careful with their stand with regards to population issues. The Bishop can always call on the Catholic faithful some 75 millions out of the 90 to 100 million Filipinos not to vote for any candidate who supports the family planning program of the government. One of the important criteria the good Bishops are looking to any politician vying for an elective position in the government is his policies and stand on the issues of family planning and birth control.

Even if President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo knows the significance of high birth rate in combating poverty problems in the Philippines, having been once a DSWD secretary, she tends to be careful with its population management program so as not to provoke the ire of the already critical Clergies to her administration. The bishops also took advantage of the government soft stand on Family Planning and birth control by calling for a ban on the advertisement of condom however the Arroyo’s administration only shrugged off their demands.

As if trying to maim the bishops stiff opposition on birth control and contraceptives, here comes Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral (former DSWD Secretary) “handing out condoms on February 13 as part of an information campaign on HIV-AIDS.” Her action may not necessarily be the collective stand of the government but nobody in the bureaucracy stood up to sanction her. She had not violated any law, she just exercised her political independence to promote actions responsive for the health and general welfare of the entire population. Yet the Bishops angrily called for her to resign.

But Health Secretary Cabral found allies on women’s health and rights advocate groups like the Party of the Workers who picketed and presented two baskest full of condoms at the headquarters of the Catholic Bishops Conference.

Judy Ann Miranda, the party’s secretary-general asked the bishops to “bless the condoms as a conciliatory gesture to unite for reproductive health and women’s rights” but unfortunately no bishop was around to receive/bless it.

As a response to the women activists action the bishops said, through spokesman Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, that they could not compromise on the church’s opposition to birth control devices. Again, a manifestation of the unwavering Catholic dogma on contraceptive devices which are perceived to tamper with the flow of nature and life. They the bishops however have no specific response on how to promote women’s reproductive health and quality of life.

“If contraceptives are immoral, nothing can change that… not even the vote of the whole country can change that,” Quitorio said. But should he not consider also immoral to see the health of women deteriorate just because couples are denied on the used of contraceptive devices. I think there is nothing more immoral than allowing spread of diseases and overpopulating the limited space we have in this country just because we can not control our rapid population growth.

And going back to politics, is the issue on contraceptives a leverage for a politician to improve his chances of winning in the presidential race? Will the good bishops support senator Manny Villar if he makes a covenant with the Catholic Church in the Philippines never to support legislative measures that advocate the use of contraceptives and other birth control devices? What will happen to the leading presidential candidate on surveys now should he decide to go against the bishops on their resistance to contraceptives and population control programs of the government?

So there we go, peace on earth and condom to all!

“You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14)

February 15, 2010

Adultery is a “Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a partner other than the lawful spouse” according to American Heritage Dictionary. Likewise Webster similarly defines Adultery as “Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband.” Between the two, I would prefer the Webster’s definition it is more comprehensive and encompassing.

On the other hand, what if a couple engages in pre-marital sex? How do we define their acts altogether? According to Webster a “Consensual sexual intercourse between two persons not married to each other” is known as fornication. Similarly adultery and fornication are two morally and legally sinful acts. But how is one different from the other? Adultery refers to “MARRIED” persons engaging in unlawful sexual acts while fornication applies to unmarried persons engaging in pre-marital sex. Both are immoral acts of sexual infidelity. Although Bible scholars debate in so many aspects with regards to the definitions and parameters that characterize sexual immorality be it adultery and fornication.

In this article I am more concerned however on the consequences of illicit sexual acts pre-marital sex or adultery. Let the theologians and legal minds do the differentiations and qualifications of immorality and sexual misconducts to address the issues on sodomy and homosexuality. As a socio-behaviorist I am more concerned on the social and personal implications of sexual immorality in terms of social order and sound social life.

It is difficult too to question people’s moral values and motive when it comes to preferred human sexuality and sexual behavior. But there are moral and legal guidelines however that regulate human’s sexual acts and behavior. Admittedly there are physiological, social as well as psychological factors that drives one person to commit acts of sexual immorality and mis-behavior. But to dwell on these issues require lengthy discussions. Suffice to say there are personal choices we make because we are not in control of ourselves. We have physical attractions and emotional drives that help us plunge into sexual misbehaving and immorality.

If such immoral sexual acts happened to one or more persons then who takes the blame; the family, the church, the educational institution, and the community? Moral values are supposed to be taught in school, church, and the family. But there are instances also when negative values are caught in said social institutions. Many young people have engaged in sexual immorality because their parents have failed to discipline them and protect them from all sorts of moral distractions. What is ironic is that some children have learned these things at home. Likewise many young people have been conditioned by the media particularly the internet on free expressions including human sexuality. It is easier now for young people to engage in pre-marital sex, sexual abuse, and adultery because of “bad” media influence.

But what are the consequences of adultery and all forms of sexual immorality? The Bible speaks of spiritual death, our legal system deal with adulterers with criminal liability. But going further there are social and psychological consequences to consider as well:

Pregnancy is just one of the serious consequences of sexual immorality to unwed couples. For one thing its not only the couple but the entire family is affected with out of wedlock pregnancies. If ever the out of wedlock pregnancy is sustained, there is still that problem of supporting the child (illegitimate or legitimised) financially, socially, and psychologically. This is one of the problems encountered now by Mer’s friend. Even at this time, many Filipinos are still uncomfortable dealing with illegitimate children. There are children who refuse to go to school or mingle with other people because they are afraid to be called on the streets “Bastardo.” While this does not happen to all, many children born out of wedlock are susceptible to emotional as well as physical abuse. The stigma of being an illegitimate child will always be there and sometimes it works against the emotional and social development of the child. In parallel terms there are reported cases too of illegitimate children who are undisciplined, unruly, delinquent, and drug abusers. While this does not apply to all too, many of those born out of wedlock from “women of the street” do take the footsteps of their parents later in life. But the worst thing to happen to unguided young women who have problems of unwed pregnancies could be suicide and abortion.

Parents still play a very important rule in disciplining their children and teaching them the values of moral servitude. An open line of communication shall be established for children and their families so as to guide them morally and spiritually. Parents who spend lesser time with their children are most so often of having children engaging in pre-marital sex. Young adults need to communicate often with their parents and friends about their feelings and relationship with the opposite xes so as to be enlightened and affirmed always not to be seduced but stand firm with their moral convictions. But what shall we do to one who is already pregnant out of wedlock? We have to exercise more compassion, understanding, empathy, and gentle admonition so as to avoid duplication of similar problem again in the future.

Unmarried couple going to the motels again to celebrate the Valentines day, think it again!

Sabi Ni Manong Johnny Gusto Niya’y Maging Happy Tayo

January 20, 2010

Aba kakaiba itong si manong Johnny, Juan Ponce Enrile at gusto niyang maging happy ang lahat? Ito ang nilalaman ng kanyang bagon Info Ad ngayon na naisa-sahimpapawid sa mga networks. May mga dalagang sumasayaw pa sa background na tila nakangiti at dama sa kanila ang pagiging happy. Happy nga ba sila? At bakit may hawak-hawak pa silang mga cellphones? Ito nga ba ang kaligayahan ng mga tao ngayon? Magka-cellphone lang at maka-pag text ay masaya na sila?

Wow, ang babaw naman ng kaligayahan ng mga Pinoy. Inaamin ko simple lang daw ang taste ng karamihan sa mga Pinoy ngunit hindi naman ganon na lang kababa ang kanilang kaligayahan. Marahil ay may iba pang mensahe ang patalastas ni manong Juan. Gusto kong isipin na ang pinaka-pondasyon ng kaligayahan ng isang tao ay ang makamit niya ang kanyang basic needs araw-araw.

Alam ko familiar kayo sa Maslow hierarchy of needs–from survival to the highest form of need which is spiritual. Sabi nga sa theory as you move along and satisfy the different levels of needs, you’ll find fulfillment and need-satisfaction. As human needs are satisfied from simple to complex, there is happiness. (Si feliz, not syphilis).

Ito nga ba ang dahilan para maging happy na tayo? Kaya ba bumababa ang satisfaction rating ng mga Pilipino sa pamumuno ng bansa ni Ginang Arroyo ay hindi natutugonan ang mga pangangailangan ng mga tao?

At ano nga ba ang mga pangangailangan ng isang tao. Iyong bang nakikita ng mga ahensiya ng gobyerno na di umano’y pangangailang ng mga tao ay ang talagang pangangailangan nila? Has the social and economic development planning body of the government really identified and defined people’s needs so that these things shall be translated into specific programs and services to address hunger and poverty, unemployment, lawlessness, diseases and other health related problems and needs, livelihood programs, infra-structures such as farm to market roads, school buildings, hospitals, skills training and adult learning, protection of the environment, vice and drug control, prevention of prostitution and trafficking of children and women, arresting the influx of rural to urban migration, countryside development, etc.?

By the way in addressing these needs who did the planning and implementation. Have the people who are supposed to be the recipient of these services been involved in need identification, planning solution, and implementation of development plans? If ever, in what way and how much have they been allowed to participate? Baka “tayo-tayo” lang naman iyan ng mga pulitiko at opisyales ng gobierno. Kung totoo man iyan ay tama nga ang perception ng mga tao na kaya hindi epektibo at successful ang mga programang pangka-unlaran ng gobierno, e kinukurakot. Tama o mali?

Matagal ko nang tinatanong ito sa aking mga estudyante at ang sagot nila ay “NO.” Kaya pala in many instances ay hindi magkatugma ang pangangailangan (needs) ng mga tao sa mga serbisyo at programa na ipinatutupad ng gobyerno. On the other hand sabi naman ng gobyerno ay may attitude problems ang mga tao na dapat ay baguhin upang sila’y maging prodaktibo at makakapag-ambag sa pag-unlad ng bansa.

Masalimoot pag-usapan kung ano nga ba talaga ang mga pangangailangan ng mga tao. Ngunit sa toto lang iyong simpleng indicators na food, clothing, and shelter ay marami pa rin sa mga Pinoy ang wala niyan. Iyon pa kayang mas komplekadong pangangailangan?

Sabi ng gobyerno ay dapat ma-empower daw ang mga tao socially, economically and politically upang magkaroon ng tunay na pagbabago at paglago ang ating bansa. Tama iyan, E, paano naman kaya ang mga namumuno sa atin? May political will ba sila? May commitment to serve ba sila? Transparent ba sila?

Hanggang ang sagot ng lahat ng mga ito ay NO, hindi happy kundi api ang mga tao.

The Family and Social Order; Avoiding Another Maguindanao Massacre

November 29, 2009

The home plays a very important role in the development of and individual to become a functional and law abiding citizen of his country and community. If we have a weak family, we have weak individuals, weak leaders, and weak government. If we have a disturbed family, then we shall have a crime infested community.

As observed, the main problem the country is facing today is not due to weak economy but weak spirituality. If our leaders are spiritually strong then we shall have an honest and transparent system of government. The greed and lust of power that transpire in our social system is but a product of a morally corrupted environment where the home or family did not perform well its duties and functions. What the children see at home is a reflection of what they do in their very own society.

The politically motivated massacre that happened last week in Maguindano which caused the lives of some 64 people mostly women and journalists is but a by product of unhealthy home environment. Apparently there is something wrong with the kind of family or home environment those people involved the alleged rape and massacre of women have been raised. Did their parents teach them how to respect life, not to harm people particularly women and children? Where they raised as responsible individuals who abhor violence and respect existing laws of the land?

Unfortunately dereliction basic parental duties to your offspring is costly not only to your family but to the government and the society as a whole. You may not know it but you have just created a human monster or a beast that may harm people and rub our government treasury of capital resources, etc. Further aggravating the problem of corruption in the government and all forms violence and crime in the society is what people experience and observe in the environment where they live. All forms of learning is observed, transferred, and perfected. This may also apply to the proliferation of vices and crime.

Politics and “warlordism” have generated a culture of violence where the only thing that matters is money and the barrel of the guns in resolving any conflict, disputes and some other issues. If you have political connection then you have gold, guns, and goons. You become untouchable and you are in control of everything in your territory. In a system like this it is no longer the government and laws that control people and the society but people with power, money, arms, and connection to the highest echelon of the government. The thing is- they are tolerated for whatever reason.

So it is easy to kill, to rape women, and shoot them in their private parts. Horrendous, only the beasts not human could do such a satanic act and crime. This is supposed to be a civilized world. Don’t parents tell their children not to lie, to steal, cheat, and harm others? Did not their church tell them that only the devil could harm unarmed human beings? In the Muslim tradition women are respected and not harmed; journalists are supposed to be spared; but this had happened already.

The passion for violence starts from the family. What children see from the father or elders is what they are going to be when they become old. Political leaders who are supposed to correct and prevent these acts through law enforcement fail to perform their duties either by neglect or simply tolerating it. Where did your parent go wrong?

We become unnecessarily poor because of graft and corruption, criminality, vices, immorality, and indolence. What has our leaders who promised reforms and progress accomplished over the years to correct this problem? Nothing is done much because our family system has done nothing too to improve the upbringing and disciplining of children so that they become useful and responsible citizens.

The cycle of violence and corruption continues until the family does not really perform well its basic obligation and role as one of the most important units of the society.

Bakit nga ba Gustong-gusto ni KapitanKidlat na Pangalang Babae ang mga Bagyo?

October 6, 2009

Hindi ko alam kung ano ang nakain ng magaling na Kapitan at gusto niyang pangalanan ng Segundina ang susunod na bagyong darating sa Pilipinas. Mabuti na lang ulyanin na ang aking lola Gunding kung saan nila hinango ang aking pangalan. Kung hindi baka maghahalo ang balat sa tinalupan. But anyway sabihin na lang natin na nagbibiro lang si Kapitan dahil may training naman iyan sa gender equality at hindi ako naniniwala na may pagka-machismo siya. Kung hindi ko alam na naglalaba pa siya noon ng underwear at damit ng kanyang misis. Aminin?

Ito kasi ang mahirap sa ating kultura. Lagi na lang na ang mga lalaki ang nangingibabaw sa mga kababaihan (oo nga naman dahil lagi sila ang nakapatong kay misis) na hindi naman dapat!

Bakit nga ba na tuwing may problema sa tahanan na nauuwi sa hiwalayan ng mag-asawa ang babae lagi ang siyang sinisisi? I documented several cases kung saan ang babae ang sinisisi (instead of the man of the house) sa mga problemang may kinalaman sa home management at family affairs. At bakit naman parati na lang na ang babae ang nagpapasensiya, pinagpapasensiyahan ang kabulastogan ng kanilang mga asawa.

Recently ay napabalitang inurong na ng former live-in partner ni former governor Luis “Chavit” Singson demanda laban sa di umano’y pananakit sa kanya. Ang dahilan? Alang-ala sa kapakanan ng mga anak.

Yes, alang-ala sa mga anak. Iyan lagi ang sinasabi at basehan para manatili pa ang pagsasama ng mag-asawa kahit sukdolan na ang pagka-martyr ng kawawang babae; ang dakilang ina ng tahanan. Yes, ang babae na lang ang siyang unang nagpaparaya bagamat siya ang tanging naghihirap pagkatapos magpasarap ang mister. Yes, ang babae ay kailangan umunawa, magparaya at intindihin si “lalaki” alang-ala sa kapakanan ng mga anak at pamilya. Kawawang babae na ang tingin ng iba diyang asal Hudas ay “inaanakan” lang. Pati mga biyenan ay dapat unawain kahit maghapon ka pang pinaparinggan diyan. Kasi kung lumaban ka Neneng, ang tingin sa iyo ay maldita ka!

Ito ba ang gustong mangyari ni Kapitan Kidlat? Ang ipangalan ang mga bagyo sa pangalan ng mga babae dahil pabago-bago ang kanilang isip o ihip? E, bakit nga hindi pabago-bago, nililito sila ng lipunan. Kadalasan kapag sila’y sinaktan ay inaamo at sinusuyo upang huwag na silang magreklamo pa. sa maling trato sa kanila ng mga kalalakihan. Pati nga relihiyon ay nakikisama dito sa pagsasabing ang lalaki ang siyang puno ng tahanan kaya siya ang masusunod. Pastor, este pastora pa nga nagsabi nito Doc. Bobonyo.

So, Kapitan Kidlat gusto mong gawing feminine ang mga bagyo para kung sila’y makapaminsala man ng mga tahanan ay ang mga babae ang dapat sisihin? Ang gusto mo sa babae na lang ipangalan ang mga bagyo dahil mahina lang ang epekto nito kapag nanalanta. Hindi kagaya ng isang lalaki malawak ang pinsala. Bilib naman ako sa wisdom ng iyong ninong. Iyan ang klase ng kaisipan na nagdudulot ng diskriminasyon sa mga kababaihan sa lipunan.

Your machismo values regard every woman a weakling. Pero hindi mo ba alam na mahirap igupo ang isang babae kahit pandak pa siya? Ito kasi ang masama sa ating Christian values, nata-type cast kasi ang isang babae na masama, pinagmulan ng sumpa at kasalanan sa daigdig, at madaling matukso. Kaya kapag may nakita kayong magandang babae diyan ang unang papasok sa inyong isipan ay sex.

Women are no weakling and evil; neither a pushover. Are you with me ate Chi?

Bagyo Segundina? O, come on Kapitan. “Bagyo” sa katawan puwedi pa!

Baguio, the Summer Capital of the Philippines

September 1, 2009

GEDC1341After some seven hours of riding on my dad’s old SUV (from Makati City to Baguio) we finally arrived at our destination, Camp John Hay Baguio City. It’s a long week-end celebrating Ninoy’s heroism on Aug. 21, so Dad and Mom decided to enjoy their week-end at the Manor’s Hotel in Camp John Hay Baguio City.
Funny, dad and mom planned for a honeymoon but there were three of us in a room. Dad’s driver had to sleep at mom’s family home with a male caretaker so there’s no way I would stay on the same house. If ever, I would be inviting a disaster, hehehe.
But being with dad and mom in the hotel room might spoil their fun. Although mom said there’s nothing to worry about since dad could no longer deliver the “goods.” Dad on the other hand only smiled at it. He is apt to prove his worth as a warrior.
“Seg go around Baguio tomorrow and don’t come back till 10:00 P.M. Let me see how far your mom can go.”
“Oh yes Seg, give time for your dad to try his luck. After all there is no guarantee if his herbal viagra will really work,” mom said as she teased dad by throwing him her bra.
Early in the morning I left both of them at the hotel after breakfast. I don’t know what happened the whole day but when I arrived at 11:00 PM, both were already soundly asleep. I had a hunch something mysterious happened. Something they did before, more than a couple of decades ago which brought this “pretty woman” in this world. Hahaha!
Baguio is known as the summer Capital of the Philippines but during the rainy season when it’s not fun to go around; why don’t you (married couples only) make it a “procreation” capital of the Philippines instead?

ANG DATE NAMIN NI SISTER EMY
GEDC1378Panahon upang magparaya, pagbigyan ang mga magulang upang magpakaligaya hanggang kaya nila.
Tinawagan ko si Sister Emy, dati kong kasamahang community organizer na ngayon ay naka-base na sa Baguio. Matagal nang nagiimbita na “akyatin” ko raw siya sa Baguio. Kaya ang biro ko naman sa kanya, “hindi ako ang dapat mong kinukumbida kung gusto mong akyatin ka kundi mga akyat bahay gang.” Napapatawa na lang siya sa sinabi ko.
Hindi pangarap ni sister Emy ang maging madre. Pinagkakagulohan at pinagpapantasyahan siya ng mga boys noong nasa high school pa kami. Matangkad at mestisahin siya, magaling kumanta at marunong tumogtog ng piano. Isang tradhedya sa pag-ibig (mahaba-habang kuwento ito) ang nagtaboy sa kanya para pumasok sa kumbento at maging isang madre. May master’s degree siya sa Community Development at abala ngayon sa pagtuturo at community organizing.
Sa Good Sheperd Convent kami unang nagtungo para bumili ng mga pasalubong (Kailangan may pasalubong ako kay Mer dahil mangungulit ito kung wala.) Mga ilang bote ng Strawberry at Ube Jam ang aming nabinili; dinagdagan ko pa ng peanut brittle, fruit preserves, at ibat-ibang mga health products na produkto pa rin ng mga madre. Halos di mabuhat ng driver namin ang bayong pinaglagyan namin ng mga pinamili.
Pagkatapos ng Good Sheperd nagpunta naman kami ng Mines View Park para kumain ng mais at inihaw na pusit. Ang sarap-sarap niyang kumain ng mga street foods; talagang sanay sa buhay masa itong si sister Emy.
“Mababakya ang beauty mo dito Seg,” ang biro niya sa akin. “Anong mababakya di mo ba alam na kapwa tayo laking kalye at laking bukid?” ang sagot ko naman sa kanya referring to the good old days namin sa NGO.
Nangiti lang siya. “Hindi ka pa rin nagbabago. Mabuti hindi ka natulad sa mga dating kasamahan natin na ngayon ay…” Hindi na niya itinuloy pa. Alam ko na kung ano ang ibig niyang sabihin. Ang mga dating kasamahan ko sa trabaho na ngayon ay umangat na ang buhay dahil nagkaroon ng mga matataas na katungkolan ngunit parang sino kung umasta na ngayon. “Kawawang mga pobre,” ang nasabi ko tuloy kung saan ay kapwa kami napatawa.
Galing din sa may kayang pamilya itong si sister Emy. May mga malalawak na sakahan at palaisdahan ang kanyang mga magulang at kapatid sa kanilang probinsiya. Ngunit low profile lang siya.
Nang magsawa na kaming kumain ng kung ano-ano sa Mine’s View Park ay niyaya naman niya akong samahan siyang pasyalan ang kanyang pamangkin na Kadete sa PMA. Laking gulat ko nang sabihin niyang PMA dahil sa matagal na panahon ay ni ayaw man lang niyang mapag-usapan ang tungkol dito.
Isang PMA graduate ang naging kasintahan noon ni sister Emy na opisyal ng militar. Magpapakasal na nga lang sila nang masawi ito sa isang madugong engkuwentro ng mga rebelde at militar sa Mindanao.
“Tanggap ko na Seg,” ang bulong niya sa akin.
Pinasyalan namin ang sinasabi niyang pamangking kadete. Magalang at mabait naman siya. Binigyan niya ito ng isang prayer book at saka rosario na galing pa sa Roma. Laking pasalamat naman ng kadete.
Nang kaming dalawa na lang at nagkakape sa may SM Baguio ay muli naming napagusapan hindi matapos-tapos na suliranin ng rebelyon sa ating bansa. Pilipino laban sa Pilipino. Isang walang kakuwenta-kuwentang digmaan na siyang sumisira ng kapayapaan at pumipigil ng pag-unlad ng ating bansa.
“Buong buhay kung ipagdarasal ang kapayapaan Seg. Hanggang may digmaan hindi ako lalabas ng kumbento,” ang sabi ni sister Emy.
“Huwag naman at tatanda akong dalaga niyan,” ang biro ko sa kanya.
“Bakit naman?” Seryoso siya.
“Dahil nangako ka noong araw na mauuna ka sa akin na pakakasal.”
Bigla siyang natawa sabay sabi, “forget about it.”
Mabilis lumipas ang mga oras. Madaming isyu sa pulitika, ekonomya, at problema sa kapaligiran ang aming napagusapan ni sister Emy. Nababahala din siya tungkol sa problema ng basura, pagkasira ng kalikasan, kawalang trabaho, prostitusyon, bisyo, at pati na rin ang mga kagulohan na nababalitaan na lahat sa Baguio katulad ang pagpaslang sa isang teenager kamakailan. Ngunit kagaya ng dati, ang lahat ng problema sa bansa ayon sa kanya ay iisa lang ang katugonan: pagkakaisa ng mga tao at pananalig sa Diyos.
Malalim na ang gabi nang aming ihatid sa kumbento si sister Emy. Damang-dama ko ang kasiyahan sa kanyang puso habang kumakaway siya sa amin papasok ng kumbento.
At pagdating ko naman sa hotel ay bigla kong naala-ala ang honeymoon ng aking ama at ina kaya napapailing na napapangiti ako. Natanong ko tuloy sa aking sarili, may nangyari ba? At, nakailang rounds naman kaya sila? Hahahaha!

Maghapon na Nakatayo (They Stood their Ground)

August 7, 2009

They stood their ground, it is not in the battle but in an 8-hour funeral march for the late president Cory Aquino. The armed forces they represent are proud of them; they did not fail them. In return the three military honor guards shall be given medal of honors while their lone counterpart from the PNP is now due for promotion. Congratulations gentlemen.

MAGHAPON NA NAKATAYO

Sa edad na 28, parang kuwarentay sinko anyos na itong si Drima. Nag-asawa siya sa edad na labing walo at sa sampong taon na pagsasama nila ng kanyang mister na si Lauro, edad 29, ay nakasampo na sila ng anak. Anim ang babae, at apat na lalaki.

Sa hirap ng buhay dapat ay tumigil na ngunit buntis na naman itong si Drima. “Tumigil na kayo, hindi na ninyo kaya pang magdagdag ng isang pakakainin” ang laging ipinapayo sa kanila ni aling Taling na nanay ni Drima. Oo lang naman sila ng oo ngunit maya-may nandiyan na naman sila na walang kasawa-sawa sa paggawa ng bata.

Wala ngang bisyo si Lauro ngunit kakarampot naman ang kinikita at si Drima naman ay wala nang inatupag kundi mag-alaga ng bata. Kaya nagalit na si aling Taling sa anak.

“Hindi lang naman iyang pekpek mo ang may pangangailangan a Drima. Isipin mo sampo na ang iyong anak, papaano mo ba bubuhayin silang lahat at pag-aaralin niyan?” Parang masinggan kung makabuga ng mahahanghang na salita itong kanyang nanay.

“E kasi itong si Lauro sobra ang pagkahilig na magpatuka ng manok. Maya-may umuuwi siya at nangungulit. Pampabuenas daw para ganahan siyang magpasada,” ang lagi namang ikinakatuwiran ni Drima.

Pero para kay Lauro hindi siya dapat sisihin. Sabi niya kay Drima: “Bakit ako ang sisisihin mo, tuwing aalis ako para magpasada lagi mong pinipisil-pisil itong sandata ko sabay bulong na may sabong tayo mamayang gabi. Pareho lang naman tayo na mahilig a.”

Delikado ang ganitong palitan ng salita, away na ang kasunod.

“Hoy tumigil ka diyan ha, Lauro. Kung hindi ko pa alam na maghapong nakatayo iyang panabong mo. Laging nakatingala sa langit at parang sundalong naka-attention habang kinakantan ang Pambansang Awit. Paalis ka na nga lang ay nanghihipo ka pa ng aking dede at namiminger. Magsalita ka, libogero!”

“Aba kung makapagsalita ka, di ba parang panting nakakula’t nakababad sa tubig na may sabon iyang sunflower mo? Laging basa at nakatingala sa araw. Text ka nang text at pinapauwi kung ano-ano ang dahilan mo diyan. Iyon pala gusto mo lang ng fight. Libogera ka rin!”

Galit na si Drima, gustong sampalin ang asawa pero binalaan siya ni Lauro.

“Sige sampalin mo ako at isang buwan kitang hindi sisipingan. Tignan ko lang kung hindi ka matuyoan ng pekpek.”

Sa lakas ng kanilang boses dinig ng buong Barangay ang kanilang pinaguusapan. Napapatawa na lang ang kanilang mga kapit-bahay sa mga salitang nadidinig.

Kaya nang minsang nagawi ako sa kanilang Barangay ay dinalaw ko sila at upang kausapin tungkol sa kanilang problemang mag-asawa.

Sa paguusap namin ay kapwa namang nagsabi na gusto na nilang tumigil sa pagpaparami ng bata. Ngunit papaano? Nasa mataas na level pa rin ng fertility ang babae at aktibo naman sa seks itong si lalalaki. Kaya naman “Family Planning and Responsible Parenthood” kaagad ang pumasok sa aking isipan na makakatulong sa kanilang problema. At kapwa namang sumang-ayon nang aking iminungkahi ito.

Nagpa-tubal ligation kaagad ang babae. Kaya ganon na lang ang tuwa ni mister nang malaman niyang wala na siyang pangamba pa kahit magdamag silang magsabong pa ni misis. Kaya nang puwedi na niyang sipingan si misis ay bumili siya kaagad ng dalawang kilong karne baka na pambulalo upang mapaghandaan nila ang kanilang laban.

Ngunit hindi dito nagtatapos ang kanilang problema, maliit lang ang kanilang kinikita at huminto pa nga ang kanilang panganay sa pag-aaral. Naisipan kung ilapit sa isang foundation si Drima para pautangin siya ng maliit ng puhonan para magtayo ng maliit na tindahan. Dahil wala namang ginagawa sa bahay ang nanay ni Lauro, pinakiusapan naman siya ni Drima na siya muna ang mag-alaga ng kanilang iba pang anak habang ito ay nagluluto at nagtitinda ng mga kakanin sa isang paaralan na malapit sa kanilang bahay. At para mabawasan naman ang mga batang inaalagaan ni Drima ay isinama na ni Lauro ang isang magdadalawang taong gulang na anak sa kanyang pamamasada ng tricycle.

Sa ngayon iisa na lang ang inaalala ni Drima, iyong kanyang bunso na kanyang ipinagbubuntis noon nang dalawin ko sila sa kanilang tahanan. Lahat ng mga ibang anak nila ay nag-aaral na. Ang kanilang panganay na si Liza ay magtatapos na sa high school sa susunod na taon. Ngunit napaghandaan na nila ang kanyang pagaaral sa kolehiyo.

May malaking karinderya na si Drima at may katulong na rin siya ngayon sa kanilang tahanan. Apat na ang tricycle ni Lauro ngunit hindi na siya nagpapasada, ipinapa-boundary na lang niya ang mga ito. Tumutulong na lang siya sa karinderya ni Drima.

Tinanong ko kung aktibo pa rin sila sa kama, tumawa lang si Drima nadoble pa raw. Iyong nga lamang at hindi na maghapon na nakatayo ang manok ni Lauro, magdamag na lang daw.

“Assembled Under the Mango Tree”

July 15, 2009

I don’t know if Petang was only joking when she said her son Marlon was “assembled under the mango tree.” Petang was my classmate and one of my close friends in the elementary. Even if she graduated only as a “pasang-awa” (with a general average of 76%) she was excited to continue with her secondary education.
Actually Petang is intelligent. She was just lazy to study. But things had change when she was in High School. She became studious and a consistent honor student. Thanks to Bernard, a handsome but playful jerk, who served as her inspiration. It was because of Petang that Bernard survived in High School. Knowing that Petang was interested to him, he took advantage of her by asking her to do his homework and assignment.
Blinded by her love to Bernard, Petang did everything including giving herself to him. That happened when Petang joined Bernard’s family in a picnic to celebrate. Bernard asked Petang to go him hiking. Thinking it was only for fun she agreed.
That’s Petang’s great mistake. Bernard brought her in a forested area with plenty of mango trees. The place is a little bit remote. Nobody could see them should they decide to do something “mysterious.” And something happened. They had been kissing before but they were not that free to engage in sexual intercourse. Now is the chance was there for both to fulfill their sex dreams and fantasies.
It was painful at first but Petang later enjoyed sex. It was her fertile day and so she became pregnant. Being minors they could not be married yet until they reach the right age to contract marriage. The waiting time proved to be a disaster for Petang. Bernard ran away from home and never to be seen again. Petang accepted her fate and gave birth to a son she named Marlon.
As a single parent Petang had to attend to her son and her studies simultaneously. She is lucky for having a very understanding and sympathetic parents. She finished BSE major in Filipino and graduated a Cum Laude. But being a mother and a student did not come that easy to Petang. There were times Marlon got sick and had to be hospitalized. Petang had to be absent to take care of her son. There were times she figured out in a hair pulling incident with a neighbor because the son of the later teased Marlon as “Multong Mangga.” A painful reminder of her youthful mistake.
Today Petang is already a teacher. She is still negotiable but does not entertain any suitor. She has poured all her time and affection taking care of her son.
She just smiled when I told her to find a good father for her son. “Why don’t you find one for yourself,” she said.
And what about Bernard? The spoiled son is now married to an equally spoiled brat who makes his life miserable. “Nakarma siya, isa na siyang Andres (a henpek),” Petang said.
There were times Bernard tried to reconcile with Petang before, but she was so badly hurt to merit forgiveness and acceptance for him. Even Marlon does not care about his father. His grandfather provided him the love and a father’s image he needs. At least the boy did not turn out to be a gay.
“Sa susunod na magkikita tayo, may asawa ka na (the next time we meet be sure you have already a husband),” I whispered to her.
“Mauna ka kaya (you first)” her response.
We both laughed as we left the coffee shop.