Today dear readers, Philippines has experienced rain that has been stronger than the infamous Ondoy that flooded the nation at the level of 455mm in 24 hours whilst today, in a matter of 22hours, we’ve reached water up to 472mm.
I’ve stayed home this whole week during my trip here in the Philippines and was left to watch Jessica Sanchez’s tribute, vampire marathons, Snow Patrol’s concert announcements, washing detergent promotions and the RH (reproductive health) bill that has deeply challenged my stand about my faith.
I’ve studied in Catholic schools and participate in Church activities all my life, my parents, teachers, peers, brothers and sisters taught me how to pray and most importantly, taught me that there is a God. My 23 years on this earth I’ve been blessed the experience to taste financial challenges, a knife on my skin, a graduation, a family that prays together and the ability to understand in such an early age that there is good and evil in this world.
Since the dawn of time, Adam and Eve was the story that emulated sin before God. That eating that apple would banish them from the Garden of Eden forever. It was that VHS tape of 1994 that taught me the 2 stones Moses held up in the sky for people to read and remember the Ten Commandments. It was on my 5th year highschool bible class that I learned that the bible has two parts – what God can do and what God’s human son did in the world whilst he was here.
Watching friends and family I know that gathered the nation online and offline to be part of a prayer rally against the RH bill struck me because I wasn’t there. Because whilst about seven thousand Filipinos stood and prayed outside in the rainy Edsa road, I watched the news and everything inside me didn’t think I should be there. Not because I’ve abandoned my faith but because this is where my faith stands.
I may have not lived in the Philippines but as an expat kid that watched the news of my country every dinner and came back home to see that Philippines isn’t as dangerous as the media said it would be, that average families have the capacity to drive two cars, malls have vendors always booming with the most authentic business ideas I’ve ever seen and college students more educationally and professionally equipped than a regular student abroad. I may have not seen the entirety of the Philippines but I have every hope in me that the Philippines can and will be a better country.
The RH bill is a bill that has been on debate for the passed decade; the Philippines that a possible Tiger country of Asia proudly roared its Catholicism to the world and this year, the sea of Filipinos have parted ways to go against and for this bill to finally end this debate. I’m sure there are other problems in this country that we should be arguing about, I’m sure that someone will come up to me and tell me that the government is corrupt and that the expats’ money shouldn’t be spent on distributing contraceptives in the Philippines, that as a Catholic, it is wrong to abort a child. That the Church is Pro Life.
Dear readers, I’m also sure that you have enough brains to know that I know that and so does the rest of the world. No government is completely clean from corruption, my parents and the rest of the OFWs (overseas filipino workers) want their money to be placed where they want it to be, that no shit abortion is a sin provided there are medical reasons to do so and finally, a life is all we have thus we should live this life to our fullest capability and quality.
The RH bill seems to come across as an attack and in some articles as “war” against the church. This bill has definitely brought thunder and rain in my faith; I usually don’t proclaim or enforce what I believe in upon others because at the end of the day, it is between me and my God. Just typing this, I can already feel my parent’s eyebrow raising and hurt from the community that I grew up in but I think that the hurt shouldn’t be placed there. It should be placed on every single young adult that brought a child in this world because they weren’t thinking of post sex. It should be placed on the kid on the road that the people rallied on for because as loud as we yell our beliefs, that kid will come back tomorrow and still beg outside your car.
The Church argues development and rise of promiscuity in the nation once contraceptives are distributed. That natural planning and chastity is what we should do; well, we’ve done it and tried it, why is there still a kid on the street? And why are there different faces we see suffering from natural disasters all crying out the same damn story that we’ve been praying for? The bill is not attacking families and the nation, its also not going to solve everything but the fact it’s trying to provide information to those kids who’s parents didn’t have the opportunity to have is a start. That providing individuals sex education of what your genitals can do and what you will feel at a certain age is normal and so does what happens after it….at a certain age.
A family is the basic unit of life and society, for those who’ve been blessed with a parent who guided and taught you what a vagina is and when it’s the right time to lose your virginity – good for you and God has truly blessed you! For those who never had that conversation with their parent and probably searched online for information, took part in school discussions with peers assuming answers from what they’ve heard and couple of years later realized they have mouths to feed before graduation, I pray that God may bless them as well.
Filipinos, we can’t just keep praying and rallying for every single thing we believe in and call it action. I believe in waiting for the right time, I believe in the people who dedicated years of research to inform the next generations that things happen but in God’s grace, we can do something about it. I believe that I have a choice to have that number of kids to reside in my uterus. That the Church is not the government; it is what Jesus told his disciple to build and be the home as well as the guiding hand to His followers. That parents should have “that” conversation with their kids once (maybe twice) and schools to provide sex education because family teaches you values and the educational system, well, an education. That not just as a nation or the government or the church but rather individuals, lets take responsibilities of our lives and the legacy of our country. That the RH bill is not telling the nation to have sex like animals but rather to make love safely and build a family responsibly. That it isn’t blasphemous to vote for sex education, family planning and healthcare for women because we only have our lives.
This to many, is a wrong decision and also a gamble, a shot in the dark by the government but we don’t pay the Church to sit and calculate the lives we’ve lost in early pregnancies nor do we ask the government to pray all day for the state of the nation. Philippines is a country that believes in a God, a country full of the most hardworking people I’ve known and country that strives to the better.
Let the government do what the government does and let the church do what the church does. And let’s all pray for the best because that is what our ancestors fought for, what every OFW worked for and all Filipinos live for. We can’t keep dying to prove a point.
– I will not respond to any comments to spend my time and argue because I’ve said what I wanted to say but please feel free to share your thoughts 🙂
– Don’t even think of throwing me the argument of disservice to the country and disrespect for our religion
– Profanity towards me and other people comments is not allowed on my page.
– Original copy of the RH bill – http://www.scribd.com/doc/49089913/Reproductive-Health-Bill-Original-Copy
– Ondoy 2009 versus August 7: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/244837/tuesday-rains-surpass-ondoys-2009-rainfall-pagasa