Supporting the RH Bill

I very rarely post something personal or heartwarming or gag inducing in this blog because I want this to be a constant channel for all things simple and nice and pretty.

But upon reading Beth Angsioco’s article at Manila Standard, I can’t help feeling injustice and anger.

I am 26 years old. Most of you will say that is a fairly young age and I will most likely fight my inner sociopath and agree with you. But at age 26, I am now a grandmother. Kill me.

My 15-year-old niece gave birth just recently to a bouncing baby boy. As much as I appreciate and value the blessing that is life, I cannot find in me the joy that often sets in when a baby is brought in this world.

I feel angry. I feel my niece was deprived of so many things. 2012 is supposed to be her first year in college, but instead she will be massaging her nipples and making sure her breastmilk is in constant supply. Instead of signing up for orgs and classes and meeting inspiring professors and lecturers, she will be changing diapers and tuning in to elders how to properly burp a baby. Instead of sleepless nights brought about by cramming for book reports and term papers, it’ll be because he can’t find the sweet spot in his crib or he’s hungry or he can’t sleep and she has to cradle him till the wee hours of the morning.

Please don’t get me wrong; I am not demeaning the process and life of being a mother. I know nothing can match the joy of having your baby smile at you for the first time. Or that intoxicating baby smell atop their heads. Or that cute fart that sounds more like a dysfunctional whopee cushion. Or those little fingers holding your thumb. I have witnessed the joys of being a mother.

It’s just that, at 15, it’s not really the life I imagined for her.

And she’s not a unique case. When Dylan worked for a secondary government hospital a few years ago, I can barely keep up with the number of times he said a 14-year-old gave birth today. It didn’t break my heart then, only slightly sad, but now that my family is one of those cases, I am just torn.

My niece is a smart girl. She has constantly performed well in school. Whenever we get together, her parents are boastful of her accomplishments. They reward her well, they developed a business to better sustain them, they’re a closely knit working family unit. So when they announced that she got pregnant, I knew that there are conversations that remain taboo even in the most progressive Filipino households.

If only they talked to her about sex and self-preservation. If only the school is more open and less mocking of reproductive health. If only we as a family looked out for each other better. If only topics on sexuality and sensuality are not viewed with malice. Maybe — just maybe — by this time, I could have been helping her choose between Sylia Plath and Jane Austen.

I am excited to meet my grandson. He looks like his uncle, age 5. I’m sure he’s going to be amazing and smart and funny, just like his mother. I also know that the entire family will raise this child. And they will love him more than themselves.

And I will badger my niece to go back to school and kick ass.

To all RH Bill advocates and sponsors, please please please do not ever waver, do not get tired! Health information and education is not just a necessity; it is a RIGHT. Please keep fighting for our rights. I promise you I have your back. I will fight for you in turn.

Pass the RH Bill NOW. We don’t need another batch of 15-year-old mothers. PASS THE RH BILL NOW.

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On RH Bill, Divorce and some stuff in between

Malta, the super kaduper Catholic state, has officially legalized divorce.  The Prime Minister made his announcement early this week and well… he said this:

This is not the result that I wished for, but the will of the people has to be respected and parliament should enact a law for the introduction of divorce.

THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.  I wonder if this is a factor at all that influences our lawmakers in authoring their bills ang legislations.

I think I’ve made it clear but I’ll say it again:  I AM FOR THE RH BILL.  I’ve watched debates and grew frustrated that these platforms were not used well by the anti-RH bill crew to at least give me second thoughts.  One even said, “Mahirap ba tayo dahil marami tayo? (Are we poor because we are many?)”  I just found that statement so ridiculous.

First of all, no one in this country is unaware of the corruption and ill-fated attitude of people in power.  And I mean no one.  Even my cousin would know that our public officials are corrupt (generally speaking).  And she’s just a tween.  Also, no one is denying the fact that this is an illness we have to cure.  By we, I mean everyone.  From the jeepney drivers who refuse to give change to the bus drivers to fake their fare tables, from the teller that prioritizes her coworkers’ deposit and withdrawals to the sari-sari store owner who discounts checks of unbanked individuals.  Everyone.

But say, this is cured and by some miracle of God and fate and every single destiny indicator, our government in 100% responsible for accounting 100% of the people’s money.  Do you really think our funds will be enough for our ever growing population?  Do you really think that the allocation will be sufficient for everyone?  The funds, whether it is complete and uncorrupted or not, will be spread too thinly and the quality of life and welfare of the people will be subpar.

This is the argument that anti-RH people keep saying.  They insist that corruption is the problem so that’s the evil we have to solve.  That has been the problem since Rizal can write, and he wrote for a very long time.  Even 300 years of oppression did not guarantee the fullness of our freedom.  The Americans came, then the Japanese, then the Americans came back and camped at our backyard until today.  This is the kind of disease that needs LONG TERM CARE.  Overpopulation does not have to be the same thing.

They say contraceptives can heighten cancer among women.  No one has ever denied that fact.  But, when administered properly and by a physician, pituitary glands won’t be overloaded and women will have safer options in family planning.

They’re all so afraid of getting sick and dying that they never really thought we’re not living the life we deserve right now.  Everyone will die.  That’s a constant thing in life.  Death and taxes, as they say.  So why are they so afraid of it?  Why are they not afraid of being dead while still living?  Of breathing but not really alive?

Then the divorce matter came to light.  To be honest, this is the one thing I am completely in the grays about.  I am for divorce and against it too.  Against it, because I still believe in the teachings of the Bible:

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother, and the two will become one flesh.  so they are no longer two, but one flesh.  therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. (Mark 10:7-9, NET)

I am still the romantic person, the for better or for worse, the as long as we both shall live person.  I still believe in that.  But the world we live in now makes it hard to believe in happily ever afters.

What about the victims of domestic abuse?  Marital rape?  Abandoned women?  What about the kids that had to grow up with parents constantly expressing their desir for the other to drop dead?  What about the damaged home?  The abusive father?  The pedophile?  The incest?  The other lover?  What about those people?  Is that the extent of the worst?  Is that the kind of worst that, when surpassed, the partnership should continue to love and cherish till the end of their days?

Of course some people can be quick to rush into marriage and of course, divorce is the quickie solution.  50% of marriages in the US end up in divorce and families there are far more complicated than families here because we are profamily and the fact that we remain as the only state that has not legalized divorce makes us a unique country, as Archbishop Cruz has said.

Really?  But what about the damaged people?  The trapped people in a loveless marriage?  Sure we can still say that our value for family is present, but what about love?  What if in the process of bearing the worst and the sickness and the poverty, the love left?  Is that still a marriage?  Or rather, is that still a family or just a couple with kids?

I’m completely on the fence here because I am enamored by the idea of spending the rest of my life with one person.  But I also feel the tragedy of the women and men I know who are trapped in these situations.  I believe they deserve a second chance at a happy life with the person that they love and truly loves them back.  But I am scared that once divorce is an option, together forever happily ever after might not be anymore.

I don’t know.  It’s a loaded morning for me.  What do you think?

News source:
http://inquirer.net/
Malta on Divorce

Why I just love Miriam Defensor-Santiago

The Bible was not written by God. It was written at least 17 years after the death of Jesus Christ… They are quoting God, but the Bible says that none of them has ever seen God.  In fact, if you claim to have seen God, you are in urgent need of psychiatric care.

See you need more people like this in the government to provide some good old fashioned crazy sense.

I am for the RH Bill.

How is the RH Bill worse than Martial Law?

I couldn’t help but react to this piece of news I spotted when I visited Yahoo! Philippines’ homepage.  According to EX-Mayor Lito Atienza of Manila, the Reproductive Health Bill is worse than Martial Law.  From what I can derive from the newspiece, he gave this statement because the bill is “unconstitutional” and “anti-life”.  Also, it compels women to take drugs that will destroy their bodies.

Now, Congressmen who would support this measure will be given an additional P10 million their countrywide development fund or pork barrel.  Atienza was quoted quipping that it would be their “condom development fund”.

What really baffles me is how he finds this bill worse than the Martial Law.  Isn’t Martial Law the law that ignited the silence of journalists?  Suppression, lifting of habeas corpus, abductions and growth of desaparecidos, not to mention the inhumane treatment of political prisoners?  How is the RH Bill, whose main goal is to educate people of proper family planning, worse than the law that shutdown all media establishments and cost the country billions and billions in deficit?

Ang labo lang para ikumpara ang isang bagay na naglalayon iangat ang pang-unawa ng Pilipino sa isang batas na pumatay ng maraming Pilipino.

Did they not hear the news?  Even the Pope okayed the use of condoms.  The Pope himself recognized the fact that these things, however artificial, can prolong life and prevent the transfer of disease.

Besides, isn’t it also included in the RH bill that information must first be disseminated, individuals educated of how to use and when to use these contraceptives?  The RH Bill isn’t just wanting to throw pills and condoms in their faces; it aims to tell them how to use them PROPERLY so as not to destroy female bodies.  With proper guidance and monitoring, these contraceptives will not only control population growth.  This bill can actually make the Filipino smarter when it comes to proper family planning.

Minsan talaga mas mabilis ang bibig kesa sa utak.  At nakakahiya, sa totoo lang, na dokumentado ang mga minsang pagkakataon na yon.

Please be more careful with your words, Mr Atienza.  You are insulting the RH Bill supporters, who all want to guarantee a family life of more quality than the ones we have now, by inciting they are worse than the most cruel dictator this country has come to know.

Read this piece of news from Yahoo! Philippines and Philippine Star.

Action reaction

Why is the Catholic church taking it as a personal offense should the Reproductive Health Bill be made into a law? 

This has always confused me.  From what I’ve learned when I was still in school, there has always been a separation between the Church and the State.  The problem is our statesmen have never shied away from declaring their profound beliefs and faiths.  In my head, it was an evident ploy to lure in the followers of the same faith in favoring that politician.  And don’t freaking moral compass me on this one.  You can use your compass without having to declare that you are a Protestant or a Christian or a Catholic.

The lines were blurred because these politicians kept quoting the Bible, passages that they say guide them into making the laws or whatever bullshit reasoning they manage to come up with. HELL NO you do NOT get to bring the Bible on this one.

Our lawmakers create laws that will benefit the REPUBLIC.  Not their faith.  The people.  Not their co-devotees.  I have nothing against religion, but really, you’re delaying a very significant and life changing law because the Bishops don’t like it?  What the fuck is that?

Why are you keeping the Filipinos from being more informed?  It’s not a secret; PREMARITAL SEX IS PREVALENT.  It’s as common as Starbucks, as natural as sugar in coffee.  AND IT DIDN’T HAPPEN JUST IN MY GENERATION.  My generation is just more open to it.  Your generation is just hypocritic to not admit there were sex crazed teens in your time.  Prolly because it was you, prolly because the hippie era was “flowers” to you.  Ever seen the movie Forrest Gump?  Almost Famous?  That Thing You Do?  READ:  sex in hotels, drugs everywhere, not to mention casual flings and more than occasional boners.  Really?  We’re liberated? 

We’re not any more liberated than you were during your decade.  We just talk about it now.

My reaction to this piece of news is this violent because I find it so stupid to delay something as important as this.  Do you not see the number of children in the streets?  Or the number of families living under bridges, along creeks and sometimes in road islands?  OKAY LANG KAYO?  How can you think that additional beings in the country is actually beneficial to us?  HINDI NA NILA MAPAKAIN MGA SARILI NILA, GUSTO NIYO PA SILA MAG-ANAKAN? 

Some people talaga are so hibang!  Volume in manpower is only beneficial when they are HEALTHY AND EDUCATED.  The children we have now ARE NOT.  And we no longer have homes to put them in.  Adoption is not as widely promoted here as it is in Western countries, mainly because middle-class to upper-class families CANNOT AFFORD ANOTHER MOUTH TO FEED.  HOW MUCH MORE THE POOR?

My gehd.  I am so annoyed.  Obviously.  PASS THE RH BILL ALREADY.  MAKE FILIPINOS SMARTER AND MAKE THE FILIPINO FAMILY MORE ABLE.  GIVE THEM THE ELBOW ROOM THEY NEED TO PROVIDE FOR THE REST OF THEIR MEMBERS.

Hindi yung anak lang ng anak everywhere and we’ll all sing that the children are our future.  Wala ngang bahay o damit o pagkain, future future ka pa jan. 

Leche.  Mga bobo.  Ugh.