Sunday, February 22, 2009

Explore: Sex and Religion in Manila

"It's not the matter what the people want, leaders must decide what is really good for the people. " -Former Mayor Lito Atienza in response to a question about surveys indicating that majority of Filipinos support the Reproductive Health Bill.

the real philippines
"The real Philippines" by ronron from Flickr

Explore: Sex and Religion in Manila is a heartbreaking documentary about the Catholic Church's opposition to the Philippine Reproductive Health Bill (RH bill) and its impact on the poor people of the Philippines. It followed a family with 11 children living in the slums of Manila as they struggled to survive a single day. Interviews with major players in the opposition to the RH bill were shown as members of the the poor family narrated their hard life.

Pills and condoms are not illegal in the Philippines. They are available in every pharmacy for those who can afford to buy them. It is obvious for poor people that they should not produce more children to improve their lives. The problem is most poor Filipinos cannot afford birth control pills costing 30 pesos (about 65 cents). The RH bill is about educating the population about reproductive health, family planning, AIDS prevention and making pills and condoms available for free in health centers nationwide.

How the RH bill promotes immorality escapes me. In my opinion, preventing education about AIDS is genocide and pure evil. What is immoral is the unequal opportunity between the rich and poor in planning their families. At the end, the poor just gets poorer and the rich richer. Anyway, without the RH bills we will not have a population problem in a few years because instead we will have an AIDS epidemic!

Former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza mentioned that the RH bill could lead to Filipinos embracing divorce, gay marriage, and abortion. He said that these practices are what is destroying western society and weakening the western family as an institution. I wonder, does he think that 11 hungry children without a future makes a family strong? Does he think that a woman getting beaten up by her husband because she doesn't want to have sex in order to practice natural family planning makes a family strong? Does he think that a mother who got an illegal abortion and bled to death to death as a result makes a family strong? What will make the Filipino family strong again is the RH bill because it allows couples to have only the number of children they can afford. These children will then be fed, educated and loved properly leading to better futures. Children with better prospects will even decrease criminality in our society. What does he think 11 hungry children without hope become when they grow up? Priests? There is no morality in poverty.

The Catholic fanatism shown here is no better than what the Taliban did in Afghanistan. Fanatism is fanatism, Christian or Muslim, it is a cancer that kills society.

I think this documentary should be seen by all Filipinos. I do hope shows like this are being shown on Philippine TV.


  • In my opinion, the Catholic Church wants Filipinos to remain poor. History proved that as the population gets richer, the less religious it becomes (and the richer it gets). The only countries that the Catholic Church still have a hold on are former Spanish colonies (which are poor) like the Philippines. Everyone else broke out of the middle age and have accepted that the earth is actually revolving around the sun.
  • Don't you think it is strange that in the documentary, the father is nowhere to be seen? It is only the mother who is earning and the eldest daughter studying hard to get her family out of the slums? Welcome to Philippine matriarchal society (hence the high gender equality). This is a common story. Most probably, the father is a drunk drinking cheap gin (praying to Ginebra San Miguel, a brand of cheap gin) in the street corner, drinking his hard life away. This is the same man the Catholic church expects to practice the rhythm method of family planning!
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1 comment :

Anonymous said...

This documentary is heartbreaking.. I really hope they pass the RH Bill soon. :(