Philippines is not Spain
Quite had an eye-opener recently during the ICPD+15 Media Seminar when Atty. Clara Rita Padilla shared to us about Spain's RH policies. Think about Spain is the third country to allow same-sex marriage. It also allows abortion on certain grounds. Other Catholic countries allowing abortion are Belgium (I met many Belgian fathers in the Cordillera), France, Mexico, Italy, Portugal and Poland.
Here, abortion is a no-no. Even RH activists are afraid to associate themselves with abortion. Sen. Biazon always have to give the disclaimer that he is not pro-abortion when he gives his "Yes" to the RH bill. Abortion is the period in every RH debate sentence here. Abortion? End of debate.
And yet as the Guttmacher Institute research in 2005 showed, abortion is the method to induce periods:
In 2000, an estimated 78,900 women were hospitalized for postabortion care, 473,400 women had abortions and the abortion rate was 27 per 1,000 women aged 15–44 per year. The national abortion rate changed little between 1994 and 2000; however, large increases occurred in metropolitan Manila (from 41 to 52) and Visayas (from 11 to 17).
What is the meaning of this? One, "kapit sa patalim" rules over "God must love the Filipinos so much that He wanted us to be as many as possible." Second, the more you make rules to make contraceptive a sin worse than gin and cigarettes, the more that people will find a way.
In Vientiane a year ago, Michael Tan showed a documentary entitled "Country of Guilt" about abortion and the effect of then Mayor Atienza's papal bull disallowing RH services in the City of Man. It was a sad documentary for me especially when the "abortionist" related about how she would go to Quiapo Church and cry to God asking for forgiveness. But pregnant would keep on coming and coming and coming.I have not seen a copy of that docu here but I hope RH NGOs would reproduce it and give it to lawmakers and the people. The road to hell is paved with good (and eventually self-serving) intentions.
While listening to Atty. Padilla, I again recalled that Intramuros Tour I had a year ago with the indefatigable Carlos Celdran. At the start pa lang, he would tell you that we have a native word for heaven which is Langit but impyerno? He said it is a Spanish loan word.
And it's the Hell for Filipinos ever since. Look, he said, we are not as regarded by Spain as the other colonies. The Philippines was even seen as a province of Mexico (kaya ba "Manila mangoes" in LA came from Mexico?). Governor-generals then come and go (after two years) but the friars were forever.
What does this mean? We are not a colony of Spain but of Vatican. The current RH debate shows you that. Religious logic replaced simple logic. One father at the Baguio Cathedral even told his parishioners that they should not use withdrawal because doing it would give headaches. That is the problem when non-practioners act as your sexual counselors. Besides withdrawal is not even a part of the natural family planning method that the Catholic Church supports. Many level-headed people suddenly become "possessed" in this debate and fell short of calling you "evil" for supporting condoms. To them, RH advocates comprise the DEATH squad while they are the pro-lifers. In the same Vientiane leadership seminar I attended, we presented it that way: that the debate has become the Life vs. Death and the participants from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand were laughing. The Indonesians were quiet because they have the same problem with their religious fundamentalists.
So Spain has moved on. And the Philippines is still way back there. How tragic.
Photos by Mau Victa. Mabuti pa ang mga bulag hindi bulag sa nangyayari at alam gamitin ang condom. Mabuti pa sila Lola, involved sa debate.