uphold rh law

Did the parents of this poor boy know that they had a choice on the size of their family? Did they know about sex education? It saddens me that the Philippine bishops misrepresent the RH Law as something that promotes abortion and of adolescent promiscuity. I feel these bishops have been intellectually dishonest and ignored the good faith of the RH advocates. They have failed to proclaim the life-saving and values-formation character of this public health measure.

It is my dream that couples will know about these choices, once the Reproductive Health Law (RH Law) is in place.

I am blessed to be married to the love of my life for the past 29 years, my boyfriend for 7 years. He is my one and only lover and to see our children are truly miracles of God and a union of our love. What more can I ask from God? A baby is a gift of life. Tears of joy always overcome me in every birth of my children. They are truly God’s greatest gifts ever given to me. I wish every mother receives this gift of life.

It is this wish that prompted me to support the Reproductive Health Bill in 2008 and now pushing that the RH Law will finally be implemented.

The Catholic Church here in the Philippines are insinuating that the RH Law is about abortion, at least based from pro-lifers on Twitter.

contraceptives from the Catholic church

More than 12,000 Catholics from five continents answered questions in a massive survey commissioned by Univision and conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International. Topics covered included all the issues most likely to generate lively discussion among Catholics all over the world. Here’s how they responded through this result page.

What I found out is that 78% of Catholics support the use of Contraception. In the Philippines, 68% support contraception. This is an eye-opener for the Catholic Church.

survey of the catholic church

Part of the RH Law is about using contraceptives so you can have babies only when you want to, and so you can achieve a family size you can comfortably support. It is about producing children with love and producing them responsibly so your limited resources can provide them a good life, not one where they sleep in sidewalks. It is about helping women avoid the health complications caused by closely-spaced births or unplanned late pregnancies. Caring about all these things is being concerned with life.

To borrow the words of RH Advocate, Beth Angsioco, “In the name of reproductive justice, our Justices should uphold the RH law.” The health and well-being of millions of our mothers and children now hang in the balance as the future of the RH Law as it is now being deliberated in the Supreme Court.

See the survey results

Catholics around the world more liberal than the Vatican

*Cringe*. I am sure some of you are not too comfortable about the topic especially with our children. But….Let’s not be in denial.

Parents need to wake up to reality.

32% of the youth aged 15-24 engage in sex and 78% of this is unprotected sex, according to DRRP and UP study.

Data from YAFS 4 indicate that 32 percent of young Filipinos between the ages of 15 to 24 have had sex before marriage. This shows a significant increase from 17.8 percent in 1994 and 23.2 percent in 2002. By age groups, more of those in the 20-24 age group had sex before marriage (54 percent) than those aged 15-19 (17 percent).

The highest premarital sex prevalence were found in the National Capital Region (NCR), (40.9 percent), and Central Luzon (39.1 percent) while the lowest was in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), (7.7 percent).

Beth Angsioco, reminds us “Let us not forget that per the respondents’ profile, more than 70 percent of them are Catholics. Yet, the Catholic hierarchy and its allies are blocking the implementation of the RH law, the law that can help young people responsibly manage their sexual lives.”

Just before I had kids , a friend told me that her daughter was only 18 years old when she got pregnant. This happened during their first date. She expressed regret that she should have never assumed that her girl will never have sex before marriage. She says she should have lectured her girl about protection. My friend’s story left such an imprint on my mind that I resolved to teach my girls all I can about sex education when the appropriate time came. I knew I could not leave it to the school to teach them about it.

Let’s see…

What is happening to our sex education?

Sex Education

With the Reproductive Health Law still in TRO, sex education is left hanging in public schools. It is optional though when the law is in effect. Let’s look at this statement from Dr. Angelita Aguirre, head of Human Life International. (CBCP: Scrap sex lessons)

““The module should be scrapped. It does not have the emotional, psychological and spiritual dimensions of human sexuality. This is very important,”

““The code of morality is high. We are not pagans. We would like to pressure everybody indulging in a conjugal act to get married first,” she said.

Aguirre pointed out that the modules did not mention that a person had to get married before having sex.

Saying NO is easy for some kids but not everyone has a strong will. Sex Education goes beyond just saying “NO” .

Source of photo: bible.ca

As a concerned parent of two girls, I took an active role in teaching the basics of sex education even if their Catholic high school included a bit of sex education in their curriculum. Much as I want my two girls to get married first before having sex, this kind of sex education strategy (get married before having sex) does not make sense to teens these days. First of all, some Catholic schools instill fear of committing mortal sin even on sexual feelings. Why can’t they explain about raging hormones instead of judging their feelings? It’s a confusing time for teenagers. Most often, these high school girls turn to their girl classmates for relationships. How many girl-girl relationships are occuring in all girl schools? Often, the school turns a blind eye because these relationships won’t induce pregnancy. Secondly, our teens are exposed to sexual images in magazines, TV, movies and the internet.

The issue of morality can be taught separately from sex education. Morality is taught in the Christian Living Education or its equivalent like Values Education.

God has a strong view of any kind of immorality, so we should try to err on the side of purity. For example, the apostle Paul said that the Church will be presented to Christ as a pure virgin bride:

I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” (2 Corinthians 11:2)

sex education lectures
Photo source: natcom.org

My mother discussed sex openly with me when I was 15 years old. I knew the morality issue already and formed my own beliefs at that age. Mom didn’t have to go through the graphic details but what struck me was the responsibility of the sexual act. In the same manner, I discussed sex education with my two girls as “are you ready to have children?

When they blurted “NO WAY“, I added “Then you should abstain until you are ready“. My own definition of “readiness” is when one is married but I didn’t want to explicitly state that fact yet.

I continued “Don’t even believe your boyfriend when he says he has protection“.

They giggled. I gave a clear example of a family friend who got pregnant at the age of 18 because she thought she wouldn’t get pregnant at that age. Besides it was her first time.

Then I continued “just one tiny drop contains millions of sperm to impregnate you. It takes only 1 sperm cell, mind you!

Then I proceeded to explain how the second daughter and Luijoe were conceived …and…

ewww. I dont want to listen now

I explained condoms, birth control etc are not fool proof methods of birth control.

We need to teach them responsible parenthood together with the sex education. We don’t need to teach everything but at least give them the basic facts. Along the way, the children can do some more research on their own.

Phillipine Catholic Bishops Oppose Sex-Ed in Schools, Say it Should be Left to Parents is true if all parents know how to discuss sex with their children. We can’t assume parents know how to discuss sex openly. Some might be uneducated to understand the anatomy of reproduction and thus fail to grasp natural birth control methods.

The schools together with the parents can bridge the gap of sex education.

If you are a parent, are you ready to tackle the topic of sex education with your children?

Photo source: voicesofyouth.wordpress.com

(This was originally written on July 2006 )

parents having sex

Parents, are you sure your kids don’t hear you when you are having sex?

I came across my daughter’s forum a 12 years ago on “have you heard your parents having sex” and their thoughts on their parents having sex.

We learn a lot from our children. It never occurred to me that our kids think we have no sex life. Just because we have reached our 40’s doesn’t mean sex life is over. I found their candid answers quite helpful and amusing. Remember, these are teens’ opinions from all over the world.

The forum question was:

I have never heard my parents have sex, and I’m pretty sure they don’t anymore. What about the rest of you? Do you ever hear them?

The replies from my daughter’s online friends who were then in their teens:

1. No. hehe. But I think it’s sweet that parents still have that passion and affection for each other.

2. I think it’s horrid enough hearing them talk about it…

3. i don’t really want to imagine parents having sex. but i hope that when i reach their stage, i would still have sex. it sucks to have no sex life.

4. Oh Lordy… I have walked in on my dad and my mom…a few years later.. I walked in on my dad and my stepmom..and I’ve heard them many, many… MANY times. There should be a law or something..

5. I’ve heard them before, really shouldn’t sleep in the bedroom right beside theirs…

6. lol. well, i would be glad that they still have sex. it’s so good they’re so loving. but i really don’t want to think about it.

7. as their kids, there are some things we just don’t need to know! and it just seems perfectly fine when we do it, no?

8. we have double standards when it comes to sex.

9.Never heard them.
Never walked in on them.
Never want to.

I’d like to thank the people who made our walls as thick as they can be for having never experienced such a horrific thing. And I knew my parents were having sex because there’s a 12 year gap between me & my next sibling!

10. I walked in on my mom and dad…and I saw more than any child should. I have walked in on my mom and step-dad as well. Funny thing is…I’ve only walked in when they were making babies in the living room. I still have the scars. Oh, and I’ve heard them a few times to. So yeah, I know my parents are still “active”.

11. i hope i’ll still be living a life full of passion and romance at that age. i wouldn’t want to be all dried up like some grandmas.

12. No, my mother and father aren’t very affectionate. And my mother sleeps with my younger brother rather than my father. sheesh. I don’t want to witness the act, but they could at least treat each other like they’re actually a couple, no?

13. i don’t think my parents do it anymore either. but one time when i was younger, i swore i caught them one saturday morning because i just busted into their room to go sleep next to them.. but i think i’m blocking that memory into some dream i had or something, haha.

14. I used to hear them .. when I was little. Not anymore. On a popular radio station called K92.. well.. popular over here… They had a special called, “Grandparents Do IT To” it was halarious.

15. I ‘ve heard it. No big deal. Frankly I’m more disturbed when I don’t hear anything. My parents aren’t aliens and I like to be constantly reassured of that fact.

16. Yes I have it was embarrassing they obviously didn’t know I was home. It was horrible my mom was talking really dirty.

17. I’ve heard my dad and my stepmother but never my mom and stepfather. I was going downstairs in the middle of the night to get a magazine I had left and I over heard them and I just scurried upstairs before anything more happened that I didn’t want to see or hear. I laughed to myself though thinking… dad still has it going on… good for him! LOL

Besides, there will be pleny of payback when I bring my girlfriend/wife home for the holidays some time in the future.

18. Nope, never heard my parents doing it…. They probably do it when I’m not around.

Now it’s my turn to say my piece on this. First of all, I don’t think my kids have ever heard us having sex. Reply number 18 is more like it. Hehe. Second, the only encounter close to sex was when one of my daughters overheard her dad say to me “it’s been awhile since we ****” (that four letter word verb…shocking) . My daughter was on her way to my room at that time. I forgot my reply to my husband but I hope I wasn’t talking dirty. Not knowing she overheard her dad, I wondered why she pushed the door and tugged my hand , “Let’s now go to the salon”. Then at the salon, “mom it’s really traumatic to hear dad asking you to have sex”.

I just had to laugh “at least we are still loving to each other. Don’t you like that?”

My daughter pouted “it’s very disturbing. Sex is for young people”

I smiled “Sex is a loving expression for couples, young and old. Especially married couples. Just learn to be cautious when you approach the door to our room”

As a young child, I often wondered why my parents required us to knock at their door. Now I realized that they also had an active sex life.

Yes children (as I know I have young readers), your parents still have an active sex life. How active? It depends, of course. Just because we are reaching 40 or 50 does not exempt us from having a healthy sex life. And the older one gets the better it becomes.

I know “ewww.” *nods*

What have I learned from their replies?

1. Parents, it’s fine to espouse sex education to our kids, if you’re comfortable with the topic.

2. Sex education doesn’t mean talking about our sex life to them.

3. It’s alright to show affection to our spouse . At least our kids know we are loving to each other.

4. It’s not okay for our kids to hear us having sex. We have to learn to lock our doors or ensure thicker walls to our rooms, and other privacy measures as some kids can get shocked.

Photo via 10000besides.com

Updated: Includes curated tweets during a discussion last April 21, 2012

sex-education““I tell people —You don’t want to talk to your child about your kids’ sex education. Well therefore, your child will learn sex through billboards, through internet, through magazine, through exploitative media outlets. Good luck. I talk to my children about sex because I rather they hear it from me from anyone else”, Pia Cayetano told us in Blog Watch just before the elections.

Take note, our bishops say that sex education should be left to the parents but welcomes teaching about it in college. The bishops think that sex education in public elementary and high schools may encourage promiscuity and early sexuality outside the sacrament of matrimony. In the proposed Reproductive Health Bill , sex education has been amended ““Parents shall exercise the option of not allowing their minor children to attend classes pertaining to Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education.”

Sex education starts when our children are young. A mother told me that she wished she had taught her pregnant 18 year old daughter about sex. Her daughter thought she would never get pregnant in her first sexual experience. Another mom expressed her frustration:

They are bombarded by sexual messages from all sides of their life, and parents have to take an even bigger role now to provide them with balance. I want my girls to see their sexuality in a healthier light than I did, without all the misconceptions and guilt that came with it. It’s hard finding a balance between wanting them to be able to enjoy their sexuality without being ashamed of it, but also accept and be accountable to the responsibility that comes with it.

Ang_mungo, a young father said in twitter that

Sex ed needs to be taught in the context of values, of relationships and love. Otherwise, it will just be another biology lesson.

The focus of sex ed must be on responsibility, on consequences, and on the happiness it can bring two people who love each other.

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I do not understand why the good Bishop Oscar Cruz calls it the “Sex Bill 4244” when it is plainly, Reproductive Health Bill HB 4244.

You know what the Bishop said ? End products of Sex Bill 4244: Promiscuity. Insensibility. Amorality.

Risa Hontiveros delivers a brillant rebuttal to the Sex Bill.

End products of House Bill 4244: Women and youth’s welfare. Choice for couples, a chance in life for people.

Risa adds “Even without the bill, there is promiscuity. ““Copulative delight without fear or worry.” Is that an evil thing? Isn’t that how God or the universe envisioned lovemaking? Fearful and worried copulation—is that what the good archbishop desires for couples? Hardly a godly or humane vision. The first topic in adolescent RH and sexuality education would be values formation. ABC: Abstain, Be faithful or monogamous, and Contraceptives, including condoms, would be taught.”

Reality is that promiscuity exists even without the RH Bill. Abortion too. I believe the sexual act will even be valued if these are discussed through sex education. At least for me, that worked. I am blessed to get sex education during my high school years in the mid-seventies together with my mother’s guidance. I have since passed this knowledge on to my two daughters. But how many mothers are like me? Just read through my sex education article to see the dilemma most parents face. Most say they are clueless, fearful, or feel awkward.

I have talked to single mothers and parents with daughters pregnant in their teens. The single mothers wished they had known more about sex and the consequences. The mothers wished they were not too uncomfortable talking about sex education to their children. I will talk more on this topic in another blog entry.

There is just too much obsession with sex that the main essence of reproductive health is lost.

A simple rebuttal to the Sex Bill is easily explained in Section 4 of the RH Bill 4244 .

To Bishop Cruz main point that it is against reproduction is false.

To call it ““Reproductive Health Bill” is a big distortion. Reason: the Bill is not ““reproductive” simply because it is against reproduction.

The RH bill helps couples with infertility problems.

Reproductive Health Care refers to the access to a full range of methods, facilities, services and supplies that contribute to reproductive health and well-being by preventing and solving reproductive health-related problems. It also includes sexual health, the purpose of which is the enhancement of life and personal relations. The elements of reproductive health care include the following:
(j) prevention and treatment of infertility and sexual dysfunction;

The bishop forgets that even when the Bill passes into a law, the Church can still continue their teachings on the sanctity of marriage, morality and other values to uphold.

Read the Reproductive Health Bill HB 4244

Photo credit

I could not believe the news article. Child sex not a breach of virtue? “SOME priests didn’t see the molestation of boys as a breach of their celibacy vows, retired Catholic bishop Geoffrey Robinson says.” The way I look at it, the bishop is trying to downplay the child sex abuse. Bishop Robinson explains that “boys suffered more than girls at the hands of pedophile priests partly because they were more available to them, with nuns tending to play a greater role in the religious education of young girls.”

There is this other view that priest’s celibacy vows weren’t broken if a boy was involved.

“We’ve met it often enough to see it as a factor,” he tells the magazine, out today. “That’s what the vow of celibacy refers to, being married. If it’s not an adult woman, then somehow they’re not breaking their vow.”

It does not discount the fact that the “child sex” is immoral and against the law. Aside from Australia, there are child sex cases from Canada and in the USA. In the Philippines, there are also reported cases of Philippine Clergy sexual abuse of children and young People.

Child sex may not be “technically” a violation of virtue as based their definition of celibacy but it shows how distorted the mind work. The explanation is totally absurd.It is abnormal for an adult to have sexual relations with a child. The priest should just leave the priesthood if they can’t practice abstinence. I shudder to think what kind of advice these priests give to their faithful.

This kind of thinking should not be tolerated or condoned by the Catholic Church because it will encourage child sex.

“Every maternal death is an event we can avoid and one that we should never allow to happen.” Fatima Bakire, MD, Dosso Regional Hospital


People attending last week’s church sponsored anti Reproductive Health bill rally actually believed abortion is part of the bill. I can accept people who are against the RH Bill because of their religious views. What I find unacceptable is spreading misinformation about it.

I wonder why the label ““pro-life” is assumed by those against the Reproductive Health Bill (RH Bill). Am I anti-life if I support the RH Bill? Am I immoral? Why do bishops call it the demonic RH Bill? Can’t God be the judge of that?

If they claim they are pro-life, why do they wish ill of RH backers? Why do they play ““audio messages, one of which features a lola character wishing lightning would strike lawmakers backing the bill?

How can these holier-than-thou know each RH advocate? Do they know …?

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“Doesn’t every woman deserve the right to have a safe pregnancy and a baby that’s born healthy? I believe this is a very basic human right.”
Katya Matanovic

RH advocates at the House of Representatives with Congressman Edcel Lagman. In the photo are Carlos Celdran, Red Tani, Beth Angsioco, Joy Virata, Adrienne Vergara, my daughter and other RH advocates. Photo by Adrienne Vergara.

Lauren and I participated in wednesday’s pro-RH rally. Both my daughters are RH advocates too. We were at the rally to make sure there were no delays at the Committee on Appropriations before it went into Plenary where debates, pros and cons are heard, before coming to a vote.

The good news was that the RH Bill passed the committee and will soon be debated in the plenary. A lot of hurdles still face the bill. Your congressman may conveniently be absent and thus, make a quorum impossible. But for now, baby steps until it becomes a law. In the photo you can see our happy faces, full of hope that the RH Bill will become a law.
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In my last post, Manolo Quezon mentioned that “Everything is political, and it all begins with sex.”. I don’t claim to be an eloquent writer as the great Manolo but due to the recent issues on BoyBastos.Com allegedly owned by [tag]Mark Verzo[/tag], I feel I need to say a statement or two.

Sorry folks, but pornography is here to stay. You can write about porn, watch porn daily or host a porn site…but there are two things one needs to learn from the perils of [tag]pornography[/tag].

1. Education is the key.

  • Educate your kids on the dangers of the Internet.
  • Educate parents (most important!).
  • Educate lawmakers, law enforcers and their staff.
  • Teach lawmakers and law enforcers how to handle the Internet as a medium.

Like I wrote in my earlier entry on Lauren, a young internet user in 1996, I made it my business to explore the online world a family affair. We educated ourselves on the wonders and dangers of the internet. Now if you don’t believe that, it’s your problem not mine.

2. Watch out for that part of Republic Act 9208, The Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act of 2003, which punishes ““advertisements” or ““propaganda” in the internet as acts that promote trafficking in persons:

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