As Abraham Lincoln once said, ““And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

I look back at 2011 as a year that brought more fun, travel, readers, and social media engagement.

New Year brings joy, hope, and wisdom. With every passing year, I have learned to develop a keener understanding of my new normal without my son. It’s a new normal for the past 11 years. Life continues to be a learning process and I do gain valuable tidbits of wisdom along the way from old and new friends. I have learned to live my life without regret. So with the coming new year 2012, I embrace it with renewed energy.

Here is my New Year’s greeting to all my readers, friends and family. Below the video are the top stories for 2011 which I think you should read. There are stories on parenting, grief recovery, social media, relationships and just about life.

Click on the links for each story.


1. What the daughter does, the mother did

Of all the haunting moments of motherhood, few rank with hearing your own words come out of your daughter’s mouth. I discover this to be true now that my daughters are adults.

2. Love your inner child

Without a mom and far away from my dad (since I became independent after college), I learned to summon my the parent inside me. True, there is a parent inside each of us, as well as a child.


3. A letter to my son in heaven

I wrote this on the 11th angel anniversary of my son, Luijoe. Love never died even if my son was gone from my embrace. Eleven years ago, I felt the world swallowed me up. I thought I could not live with the unbearable gut-wrenching pain in my heart. At times, I thought I went crazy. I barely survived. I had to find that courage to live because of my two daughters and my husband. That difficult journey left me literally with a broken heart but not too broken because why did God give me a second wind in life to make a difference in this mortal world?

4. A Letter from Heaven

Let me share one of the first grief poems a few weeks after we buried Luijoe. After all the friends have condoled with you, one is left alone to grieve. Now reading this ““A letter from heaven” poem eleven years after his death, I see the words that inspired me to move on with my new life. I forgot all about this poem. These words may have been subliminal but it played a big role in my healing journey. If you have lost a child, this poem may give you some measure of comfort. The words didn’t really strike a chord at first. I remember wailing ““but I want my Luijoe here beside me, bugging me with his toys.”


5. True friends are never apart maybe in distance but not in heart

This friend is special to me. I don’t know if I am special to this person. For a while, I was mad ..but how could I stay mad at this person who introduced me to the Holy Bible, to be open to other religions other than the Catholic faith? How could I get hurt for long knowing that love does not keep a record of wrongs?
How could I feel abandoned when my friend never left me? The friendship remained in my heart.

6. The Honeymoom Phase

Come to think of it, this current phase of our marriage is the honeymoon phase. Ray Bandy asserts that ““the honeymoon is the only period when a woman isn’t trying to reform her husband.” We have arrived at this point in our lives that we have learned to accept each other’s quirks, that there are things beyond our control.

I am enjoying married life with my husband now more than ever. It’s been 2 years since we last had a major squabble. That’s a feat.

Social Media

7. Willie Revillame humiliates a crying 6 year old boy as he dances

When I tweeted “I think What Willie Revillame did to this 6 year old kid may be in violation of R.A. 7610 Section 3 (b) “Child abuse””, the tweets were endless. I then wrote this blog entry and bewailed … This is just so disgusting. Willie Revillame, you are the lowest of the low.

What Willie did is humiliate this boy repeatedly in front of millions of people. Where is the dignity in that? Why does he subject Jan-Jan who is obviously crying, to that kind of torture. The adults who taught him to dance that way? Ugh, the very same people responsible for his well-being.

The awareness of child abuse went as far as Congress that they passed the HB 4455, ““An Act Promoting Positive and Non-violent Discipline of Children” on April. It is pending at the Senate.

8. You are what you tweet

The Willie Revillame brouhaha gave me thousands of new Twitter followers and paved the way to more social media engagement in other critical issues.

There are many lessons and quotes in social media I learned in the last two years especially in Twitter. Starting out with only 500 followers in September 2009, I now have 7100 plus followers because they wanted to hear about news not found in tri-media. Compared to big media networks and celebrities, the number is a drop in the bucket. The numbers do not matter. Let me tell you how it is.


9. How I relax while tweeting with a cat on my lap

No time to get totally annoyed at useless tweets with a cat on your lap. As anyone who has ever been around a cat for any length of time well knows cats have enormous patience with the limitations of the human kind.

10. Simple tips and lessons in life

Lastly, whatever happens, just remember these simple lessons in life.

1. Don’t promise when you’re happy
2. Don’t reply when you’re angry, and
3. Don’t decide when you’re sad

Finally remember the five simple lessons in life to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred – Forgive
2. Free your mind from worries – Most never happen
3. Live simply and appreciate what you have
4. Give more
5. Expect less

Let me tell you how convenient it is to wear tampons over napkins. In the olden days my mom told me they didn’t use disposable napkins. I couldn’t imagine how that could be possible. Women often referred to their menstrual period as ““I’m having my rags” because pieces of old cloth were actually used to soak up menstrual fluids. Not only that, women washed the soaked blood after every change. Messy indeed. I didn’t have to use rags because in my generation, I got to use disposable sanitary napkins and a few years later, tampons came along. The sanitary napkins in the early seventies looked like a bunch of disposable cotton wrapped around a rectangular gauze that needed a belt or safety pin to tie the napkins in place. It was embarrassing to have those leak accidents. I still remember when the sanitary napkins in 1975 came out with adhesive to keep napkins in place. Though adhesives felt a bit more convenient, it left an unsightly mark on the underwear that refused to wash out.

When tampons came into my life in the early eighties, I realized how liberating it was to shift from napkins to tampons. At the beach outing with friends, I felt confidence as I wore my swimsuit.

Advantage of tampons over napkins

The main reason is of course feeling confident. Tampons offer better protection and help keep a period private. I can wear tampons confidently under shorts, a fitted skirt or my swim wear without showing unnecessary bulk. Wearing a tampon gave me the freedom to shower, play badminton, and even swim while on my period. This freedom is probably one of tampon’s biggest advantage over the napkin, making it the best option during a summer getaway.

Consider how a napkin leaks much more than a tampon can. When inserted properly, a tampon minimizes the chance of leakage because a tampon fits to the wall of the vagina and soaks up blood for a period of several hours. When one replaces it frequently, a tampon is so much more reliable than a napkin. It leaves me feeling much cleaner and fresher than using a napkin.

Facts of using tampons

Like I said earlier, myths surrounding tampons made me initially resistant in giving it a try. Some of these myths are explained below.

1. A tampon will not move beyond the vagina and get lost inside a woman’s body

It just isn’t possible for the tampon to get lost or pushed far back because the opening of the cervix found at the end of the vagina is too small to allow a tampon to pass through.The walls of the vagina also hold the tampon in place and it will stay put until you take it out.

2. A tampon does not get stuck inside a woman’s body

It is not possible for a tampon to get stuck inside you. There might be problems taking it out if you are feeling tense. Just try to relax if you feel some resistance when you pull out the withdrawal cord. Leaving the tampon a little bit longer will allow the tampon to absorb enough menstrual fluid and make it soft enough for easy removal.

3. Tampons do not block menstruation.

The tampon sits in the middle third of the vagina and won’t block the menstrual flow. It absorbs the menstrual fluid into its inner holding layers until fully saturated. When the tampon is saturated, the excess fluid just flows out of the vagina either through the tampon or outside of it.

4. A virgin can use tampons and it will not affect her virginity.

Many young girls worry about using a tampon because of an old myth that one can lose their virginity by the tampon breaking their hymen. This is not possible. Tampons are small and cylindrical and they do not go so deep as to break your hymen.

Whether one chooses to wear sanitary napkins or tampons is definitely a personal choice. It is really important to stay informed and weigh options in using tampons. Over the years, the use of tampons allowed women to be more active and have fuss-free menstrual periods. Women these days have come a long way since their grandmothers. Imagine the freedom and discretion to do whatever you like while menstruating including swimming and sports.

May the Christmas season fill our heart with so much love and generosity that we let others enjoy the excess of what we have. Merry Christmas. Peace and goodwill to men!

Here is a video greeting aka slide show from my family to yours:

I am truly grateful this year. A year ago, I spent Christmas eve (up to New Year’s eve) at the hospital recovering from a gall bladder surgery. My family was supposed to spend the holidays at Singapore but because of this emergency surgery, I cancelled the trip but let L meet up with M so they could be together.

I am just glad to be alive and well. I know some of us are not complete during this time of the year. For many years after my son’s death, Christmas seemed such a lonely occasion but my family learned to celebrate Christmas using old and cultivating new traditions. Luijoe may not be with us but he will always live in our hearts and in our home.


This little inconvenience in my life made me realize that the Spirit of Christmas and the spirit of Christ lives in me and all those that believe in it. Stuart Briscoe states it well by saying The spirit of Christmas needs to superseded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world.

I will update more as the day comes.

““Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” Brian Clark

15 years ago, on December 22, 1996, Lauren wrote her first journal entry. The word blog was non-existent then. It was called a journal but as we know it, online media is emerging media. Blog came from the word web blog and the journal is the same format of the blog. Lauren’s original entry does not show in anymore but if you’re a geek, you can probably figure a way to read the full entry.

Lauren was 10 years old. These days, kids as young as 5 years old have their own blogs. The difference back then was one had to build your own site before blogging so that was quite the challenge. Together , we learned basic HTML, file transfer protocol (FTP) so she could upload her journal entry.

How could I not resist Lauren, my daughter’s question in early 1996? One day while I was busy with my emails, she walked up to my desk begging to create a web page using HTML. The question seemed so natural like she was asking for candy, but running inside my head was ““what is that monster… HTML ?” The Internet was such a novelty during those days that parents were both afraid and excited about its benefits for the kids. I took the risk and introduced my children to the World Wide Web.

I was often questioned why I allowed them to go online. Questions often raised were: Am I not afraid of pedophiles? Am I not wary of the pornography? What if the online friend is really some serial killer? Relatives and friends frowned on the Internet. I felt like I was a parent from outer space. Even my daughter’s homeroom teacher chastised her for talking about the Internet. I believe the teacher was just ignorant or intimidated about it. After all, in 1996, there were less than 12,000 Internet users in the Philippines. It wasn’t cool for a kid to be online during those days.

There were no hard and fast rules. One thing was clear though: I am a parent first. In the real world, one aspect of responsible parenting is never having to allow children to wander aimlessly and alone into unknown territories. So, too, in the vast cyberspace called the Internet. Responsibility towards my child’s offline behavior is the same responsibility for my child’s online activities. Parents can empower themselves and establish Web safety awareness in their homes. Start them young. The best defense is for parents to make exploring the online world a family affair.

I drafted my own Internet safety guidelines for parents, teachers and children to read in World Kids Network where I was their Internet Safety Head from 1996 to 1999. The guidelines are basically the same even in the age of connected technology (gaming centers, cellphones), digital devices and social media sites. My Internet safety guidelines inspired by my own parenting experience and my children’s internet experience is still applicable 14 years later:

1. Your child should only log on with your approval. Sit down together with your child and read the guidelines contained in their favorite kid’s site. Assess which may or may not apply to you and your child. If you have to, you can plan and formulate your own safety guidelines together.

2. Since the online experience should be a family affair, the computer should be easily accessible to family members. This makes online activities an enriching experience.

3. The computer should be located in a room where there is adult supervision.

4. Be clear on the length of time spent in the computer or other connected technology.

5. Let your child post your family’s e-mail address even if he/she has her own.

6. As you go on together with your online experiences, your child will soon be better equipped to deal with various online situations even if you choose to leave them on their own as I did when the girls left for their college dormitories.

The negative feedback and suspicions toward online activities often made me wonder how the Internet molded my children’s perspective in life. I found the answers now that my children are in their early twenties. I believe my kids got exposed to global thinking , varied ethnicities, cultures and religion, things they might not have learned in the classroom. The biggest surprise is that I gained so much more in the process. My children taught me a lot about being a mother in this technology-driven world. Is it any wonder that 14 years later, I am a 54-year-old tech-savvy mom blogger?

Today , Lauren moved on from a personal blog to a fashion and beauty blog at

““As I have repeatedly written in one form or other, blogging is not about writing posts. Heck, that’s the least of your challenges. No, blogging is about cultivating a mutually beneficial relationships with an ever-growing online readership, and that’s hard work.” (Alister Cameron)

Think of one bear as one smile, one hug – one young life given joy and love this Christmas. Two thousand years ago, a child was (and is) the reason why we celebrate the most important holiday of the year.” Cathy Babao

How can one even begin to comprehend the loss of lives now reaching 1400 dead and missing in Northern Mindanao due to Tropical Storm Sendong . Imagine the grim statistics:

1. At least 19,759 families or 108,130 persons are affected by the calamity according to the National Disaster Risk Response Management Council (NDRRMC).

2. UNICEF Philippines estimates that 43,000 children are affected by the calamity.

Residents were caught unaware as the floods rose rapidly at around 2 a.m. Saturday, while they were sleeping. Many of the victims were recovered in mud.

When you hear this kind of news, one begins to ask is there a silver lining to all this? It may not be apparent yet but silver lining for the TS Sendong victims is collecting stuffed toys for the children and toiletries for the women affected by the wrath of Typhoon Sendong.

You ask “not slippers, clothes, water?”..Yes they need all that too and I am sure everyone else is donating whatever they can. It’s good to feel empathy, post, forward donation centers and contact numbers — but it’s another thing to take action. The simplest would be to TEXT 2899 with the message RED (amount you wish to give 100, 200, 500, 1000) and the funds will go directly to Red Cross. There are a hundred ways to take action, and mine is collating credible sources of donation in kind and in cash.

My friend Cathy (my co-founder of our grief advocacy, The Compassionate Friends) shows another way through Yakapin: Batang Hilagang Mindanao (YBHM) . Let me explain first.

See, children in trauma experience a lot of nightmares. The power of a hug, or something that they can hug cannot be underestimated. I took part in Cathy’s project five years ago when she initiated the “Thousand Bears for Bicol Project”. It was also around Christmas time too. You cannot simply imagine the joy the children felt when they received these teddy bears.

Cathy contacted the Regional Missionaries of the Philippines -Northern Mindanao Region after she spotted a poignant poster of a father with his child on a friend’s wall. She took that as her cue. Under their wing in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan are thousands of displaced women and children. This is Cathy’s small way of helping out. This is something that she had done before which is to collect stuffed toys for the children in the evacuation centers and to put together toiletry kits for the women affected by Sendong.

How to donate to the children

Here are the simple guidelines :

1. For stuffed toys please send clean, friendly looking toys (no pigs please, owing to cultural and religious sensitivities) in any size ideally, big enough for a child to hug.

2. For toiletry kits, each bag will contain the following items : toothbrush, tooth paste, soap, sanitary napkins (10 pcs), comb or brush, underwear (2 pcs) face towel, laundry soap — just the basics so the women can also take care of themselves as they take care of their children.

If you wish to help, please email her at [email protected]

Cathy plans to assemble the toys and goods throughout the holidays and deliver them to CDO just before the new year. She will need volunteers for drop off points in various parts of QC, San Juan, Pasig, Pasay, Makati, and Alabang. If you wish to volunteer your homes, establishments or offices as drop off points, please send me an email.

Please see a list of areas for drop-off here

Alabang – 12 Brentwood Street, Hillsborough, West Service Road, Alabang Look for Magding or JC

Greenhills : 33 Madison Street, North Greenhills, San Juan. Look for Ann or Shirley

Asuncion Berenguer, Inc. 3/f Homestudio Building, 63 Connecticut Street (same building as Homestudio, Torch resto and Bose) Northeast Greenhills . Please leave with guard and indicate ““Bears for YBHM”

Makati — The Citadel Inn, 5007 P. Burgos Street, Makati City c/o Andre Urbina

Marikina: 1 Ferdinand Marcos Street, Industrial Valley Subdivision, Marikina Leave with guard please indicate ““Bears for YBHM”

Paranaque — Johnson and Johnson, Edison Road, Paranaque City (Edison is street by Zuellig) Leave with guard, indicate ““Bears for YBHM”

14 C. Diamond Street. Greenheights Village Sucat Paranaqueque Look for Yaya Marlene

Quezon City: A-2 Dona Sotera, Pilarville Subd.,Quezon City c/o Dennis Mariano
41 Milkyway Drive, Blue Ridge B, Quezon City Look for Lily

C1C3 Narra Heights Condominium #28, Mariposa Street, Quezon City (near Camp Crame)

Eastwood area : Unit 5c Eastwood Lafayette Tower 3, Eastwood Avenue Libis Q.C (In front of Watsons, near Mcdonalds) Leave with guard indicate ““Bears for YBHM”

Let us all do our small share to help Northern Mindanao.

Every bear or stuffed toy that arrives matters because it counts towards making one more child happy. To share and to give is the true essence of the season.

A new and soft teddy bear costs about as much as a Starbucks frapuccino or a ticket to the cinema — a small price that will go a long way in bringing back hope and a smile into a child’s life.
May you all be blessed to be a blessing to others.

It was one of those nights when I’d sit on my dad’s lap. I will always remember dad’s favorite line ““Study well, little girl. Education will always be with you even if I am not around.”

Education is one of the greatest investments dad could ever give us despite the limited resources. Born from a poor family, dad struggled the corporate ladder just to give us the best education he could afford. Dad may not be around now but true enough, it is education that armed me with the skills, the accumulated knowledge and values to rise up from the challenges that came my way. The words of my dad carried on to my three children. I didn’t have to prod my kids to study and educate themselves. They understood the value of education that is to prepare them even at an early age to educate themselves throughout their lives. I smile as I watch my grown-up ladies from afar, now financially independent and making life decisions with our blessings.

When we come across the word ““education,” many of us strongly associate it with schooling. If you put education in the context of your own child, what is education to you?

As a mom blogger, I get a chance to visit schools and check out their curriculum and programs. This is an opportunity to share these information to my readers and for them to discern if this is the right school for their child. I came across a few heartwarming videos about little girls manifesting good deeds to others at their tender age. It seems to be an advocacy and I admire the institution that helps parents so that the very essence of education and learning — a thinking head, a caring heart, and a serving hand comes out naturally from kids as they go through their daily lives. Take a peek at this . . .

I believe that schools and parents play an active role as partners in educating and motivating our children today to dream for a good purpose, think for a good reason, and care enough to serve others.

Parents in search for schools that value academic excellence, moral uprightness, and social responsibility should consider the development of their child’s God-given talents.

I was struck by the Giftedness Instruction for Talent (G.I.F.T) Development Program in St. Paul College Pasig. I often told my little girls back then that ““you are God’s gift to me.” I believe in honing those God-given talents and made sure my girls got the training in piano, singing, and writing even if their school did not provide for it.

The G.I.F.T Program is a curricular innovation aimed at discovering and honing the students’ talents in the various fields of arts and sciences. More than what our kids get out of school clubs, I read that G.I.F.T. is the most comprehensive talent development program integrated in basic education which features 32 specialized courses in five Talent Learning Centers.

Grade school kids enjoy tinkering with the MAC and learning during their GIFT – Digital Arts and Creative Writing classes.

Brave and aspiring young gymnasts have fun at the balance beam in their SPCP GIFT – Gymnastics class

Young kids do their warm-ups before the GIFT – Taekwondo class. As early as preschool, kids get to explore the basics of this sport.

Bringing out the giftedness in every individual heightens self-confidence and self-esteem. Self-confidence that emanates from integral formation begets good citizens which are what our country needs.

If you are searching for a school, it is important to know what you want for your child. Choose a school that complements your values. While basic education is the focus of an academically prepared, morally upright, and socially responsible child, a formal structure of talent development instruction makes learning truly relevant and functional. Investigate the school’s teaching methods if it will stimulate or hone your child’s talents, strengths, and interests. This might just be the school that matches the individual needs and interests of your child.

What type of education are you looking for your child?

Although pretty presents under the twinkling lights of Christmas trees are quite exciting, it is the warmth and love of family and friends that make the holiday season so memorable. Yet it can be a painful time for those experiencing the recent loss of a loved one. I don’t know how I lived through the first Christmas without my Luijoe. But it was my two girls who taught me to grieve well. It was clear that Christmas was going to happen, whether I wanted it to or not. It is not the same for other families.

Christmas is indeed the hardest holiday for those that have lost a loved one. Is it because of traditions that mean so much but now lie broken and empty in someone’s bereaved heart? While everyone else is gearing up to celebrate with family and friends, they’re about to face the most family-oriented day with a piece of their heart missing.

A parent said ““You still feel that loneliness, even with so much going on. They’re not there with you, that hole in your heart.”

Anyone who has lost a loved one understand that love does not end in death. Through the years I learned that life can become good once again not when I tried to till up the empty spaces left by loved ones no longer within hug’s reach. I realized that love created new spaces in my heart and expanded the spirit and deepened the joy of simply being alive.

Since 2005, when my friends and I co-founded the Compassionate Friends Philippines, we made it an annual tradition to to honor and remember the children we have lost, provide support to grieving parents and families, especially during the holidays … and give information about resources that are available in our community.

Tonight is the fifth time we organized the Worldwide candlelighting in the Philippines to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause. As the candles burn down in one time zone, they are lit in the next, creating a 24-hour wave of light that circles the globe. This is a memorial to celebrate our children’s life and to remember them . It is one way to process and a way to get through the holidays. Those holidays are really tough when one has buried a child or a grandchild. Grief is hard work.

“No matter how many people or how- many presents, the pulsating void that seems too large for your heart to hold keeps on drawing your attention back to the child who is missing. As others laugh and play, your thoughts fly away – to Christmases past or a snowy cemetery. Give me a special gift this year.. . let me weep.”

The friendship and understanding of other bereaved parents is one of the most helpful gifts we can give ourselves. Other bereaved parents will let us reminisce of happier Christmases’ past; will allow us to speak our child’s name without hesitation; and will let us cry and not be uncomfortable with our tears.

Tonight is such a comfort. It feels good to be able to share our feelings with someone who understands that, for us, grief does have a place in our holiday. By being a listening ear for them we have given them a gift as well.

I closed the candle lighting memorial by playing this beautiful pure angelic voice of 7 yr old Rhema Marvanne as she sang the “Lord’s Prayer”

(Disclaimer: This entry tackles grief education. I do not pass judgement on whether the circumstances are true or not or on the motives of Mo Twister for telling this story.)

There is video of Mo Twister that is going viral on the internet. The video claims ex-girlfriend Rhian Ramos “got rid of our baby” in Singapore last year. Mo Twister recorded this video for himself a year ago so he refers to himself as “you”.

The transcript is as follows: (I am placing bold on those parts where he is grieving over the abortion)

Its 28th of July 2010, First time I’m doing this. I don’t event know why. Um, Maybe one day you’ll watch this. Just remember how horrible of a day it is. You’re in Singapore, You’ve been crying all evening because tomorrow morning, You and Rhian will go to the hospital here and get rid our baby. It doesn’t matter naman what I think about it because this was her choiice. I don’t know how long you’ll keep this as a souvenir, but this is the test (Whisper) This is wrong. This is the hardest thing (Crying) This is the hardest thing you’ve gone through before and you’ve gone through so much. And we have to blame our jobs for this?

This industry that judges you for these things. This business has made her believe that we have to take the life of our own child because no one will forgive her for this. That this job will ruin her, so we agreed that we’d come here and get it done. Because you love her and you just want her to be okay. Its not like Rhian is having an easy time with this too. Its hard on all of us. She said one day we will see this again. And maybe our jobs will be a little bit easier and more accepting about it. One day you’ll look at this video, 20 years from now, I don’t even know if you will still be together and it will still hurt. It will still hurt like hell. (Crying) You’ll be sorry for this your whole life. I’ll be sorry for this my whole life. Im sorry for the bad choice we are about to make. Its hard for both of us.

Its July 28, 2010 and I’m sitting inside the hotel. The Ritz-Carlton in Singapore and we’ve been fighting all night about this. I’m doing my best to try to kep you safe. And all this fighting is taking a toll on us. I wish we could have this child. I don’t want to do this. This job is so difficult. Its so difficult. I’m so sorry. I’ll be sorry forever. Again, one day you’ll watch this. Maybe when you’re an old man. You’ll remember how difficult today was. And I hope you watch this and I hope by that time, I’ll be married and I’ll have a family that I can try to make it up to. You’re going to do something really wrong today. I’m sorry for that. This is business is so so hard. This business is so hard on its employees. I guess all bussinesses are. I don’t know. It’s our fault I know. We can’t really blame our jobs because other people did it. But um, I understand.”

I will not dwell on the circumstances of their relationship and the topic on abortion. Assuming this is true, my main focus is on understanding the grief after abortion, on the helplessness that Mo felt in that video and in his tweets the past few days.

Tweets on abortion

Mo Twister Talks About ‘Abortion’ on Twitter, Rhian Ramos on ‘Juicy!:

On November 16, Mo Twister posted a question on twitter :

““I have a question about abortion. Should the girl ask the guy what his thoughts are and should he have a chance to stand up for the baby?”

The following day, he tweeted:

““Because no amount of inconvenience could ever justify treating the supreme creation of God with murderous contempt.”

On November 19, Mo uploaded a screen capture of ““abortion” in his Tumblr account and encircled the word ““monstrosity” .

He also posted the following on Twitter on the same day:

““young child, dont ever think you were never good enough. you just had no choice in the matter.”

Empty feeling : The Effects of Abortion on Men

I have seen reactions in Twitter that questioned Mo Twister motives for uploading the video. I will not dwell into that but rather on emotions following an abortion.

The father of an aborted baby is often known as the forgotten father. Mo Twister is the forgotten father who had no choice in this decision. Three out of four males said they had a difficult time with the abortion experience. Some have even reported having persistant day and night dreams about the child that never was, and considerable guilt, remorse and sadness. For men and women alike, the feeling of emptieness may last a lifetime, for parents are parents forever, even of a dead child.

In the only book on abortion and men, Shostak describes male abortion pain as the loss of fatherhood and a “wound you cannot see or feel, but it exists” (A. Shostak, Abortion & Men: Lessons, Losses & Love, N.Y.: Praeger, 1984). In interviewing 1000 men, Shostak found:

1. abortion is a “death experience” and for most men more emotionally trying than they expected

2. the most common post-abortion reaction was helplessness;

3. men who are not helped to mourn over an abortion are learning how to be even less involved as nurturant parents in the future; and

4. the majority of relationships failed post-abortion.

There is an empty feeling.

“Some men are so wounded by their abortion role that they abort their own lives. I have treated women whose partners committed suicide because they couldn’t escape hearing the relentless little voices that kept saying: “Daddy, Daddy, please don’t let me die.” And for the man who stands up and opposes an abortion, under the law he has no legal recourse and cannot defend his child’s right to life. His grief is punctuated with impotency and feelings of helplessness. Words are just not enough to prevent his child’s death.”

Dealing with the grief

The motives of uploading the video is questioned. Was it maliciously done? I would never know but you can see the intense emotion when the video was produced. I felt Mo was powerless to save the life of his unborn child.

One father whose child died from abortion described his grief this way: “I wasn’t in the room; I wasn’t even in the clinic that day. But in my mind, I’ve been there a million times since. I’ve been there watching, breaking, wanting to rescue you. In my mind I need to be a hero not a killer, the man who didn’t flee. But I am not. I am the man I fear I see.”

Mo Twister faces the same torment in an interview with Juicy:

I’ll be honest. I’m sick of crying on TV, and everyone you read on the Internet na Si Mo, parang babae, umiiyak. But if you understand how grave and personal, important, ang nangyari sa amin, maiiyak ka rin araw-araw. Yun ‘yong nabubuwisit ako sa mga tao kapag sinasabi nila na dapat mag-move on ka na, babae lang ‘yan. Yung mga hirit na ‘yan, doon ako medyo nagagalit kasi hindi nila naiintindihan na it’s not about a girl. It’s not about moving on. Ang daming kong girlfriends before. I mean, I had three…five relationships prior to Rhian—and I understand the process of moving on. But I’ve never experienced this trauma. I’ve never experienced these hardships. I left ten years ago this very week, so medyo weird nga. I don’t want to be negative like, O, si Mo parang nagpapaawa or nagpapa-sympathy sa public. I don’t care for anyone’s opinion,” he added.

Men do grieve following abortion. It is that feeling of helplessness you see in the video where Mo cries that he can’t seem to do anything.

“Whether or not the male was involved in the abortion decision, his inability to function in a socially prescribed manner, i.e., to protect and provide, leaves him wounded and confused. Abortion rewrites the rules of masculinity. While a male is expected to be strong, abortion makes him feel weak. A male is expected to be responsible, yet abortion encourages him to act without concern for the innocent and to destroy any identifiable and undesirable outcomes of his sexual decision-making and/or attachments. A male is expected to protect, but by law he is encouraged to do otherwise.”

It took Mo more than a year to talk about this “abortion”. Perhaps he could no longer bear the pain and the guilt. Or it was just an accident that someone uploaded the video.

Based on the video and the tweets, I felt that Mo was bewildered and frustrated over this devastating experience. He is definitely grieving the loss of their baby just like the other “forgotten fathers”.

Killing hurts the living too. It knows no gender bias.

Let’s be gentle towards the forgotten father.