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children and moralists

Whenever my friends ask me how many children I want in the future, I answer quickly: “One or two at the most. Three kids will be pushing it…” Raising a family is expensive and unless I get married to someone really really loaded, I would rather have only one child whom I can support and give the best of everything to.

I’m just being practical. I think bringing children into the world knowing that you won’t be able to take care of them properly is a grave sin. Walang kamalay-malay yung bata na pagkapanganak pa lang nya, mahihirapan na sya dahil hindi ka handa. Ganito mag-isip yung mga tulad kong nasa middle-class. Kasama sa budget yung bilang ng mga anak.

Which is why I get angry and frustrated whenever I see children in the streets begging for money (correction: DEMANDING money pala!) Minsan sa inis ko I ask them where their parents were. Some would say nasa bahay, others would completely ignore the question. Kung sino pa yung mga hirap sa buhay, sila pa yung mga may maraming anak.

I watched the most recent I-Witness episode by Howie Severino last Monday. One of their subjects was a 42-year-old mother who lived under the railroad tracks in Pandancan.  To make a long story short, she can barely feed herself and her husband (who is sick and unemployed); she is also the mother of 17 children.

That wasn’t a typo error. She indeed has 17 (SEVENTEEN) children.

Some people are quick to judge her and parents like her. Kasalanan daw nila kung bakit sila naghihirap. Alam na nga nilang halos hindi na sila nakakakain, mag-aanak pa ng ganon karami. Kung sino po yung naghihirap, sila pa yung anak ng anak.

Why would you blame someone for practicing what he has been taught and believes to be morally right all his life?

Moralists such as some Church leaders and even those in government cling to the notion that you can support a family, no matter how big it is, just by working really hard. “If you have 17 kids then you have to work 17 times harder.”(–a direct quote from Atienza when he was interviewed by Howie.) Contraceptives are bad and using them will make you traitors to the Catholic faith.

Yeah. Right.

I have a stable job and I can barely support myself. Both my parents have good jobs and yet there were times when we can barely make ends meet. The mother with the 17 children drives a pedicab. Go figure. Kahit magpadyak sya maghapon, magdamag, kulang pa rin ang kikitain nya para mapakain ang mga anak nya. (By the way, during the time of the documentary’s production, the woman was pregnant with her 18th child. Apparently, 17 kids wasn’t enough). 🙂

The lack of education (due to the inaction of government) and the fear of damnation (upheld by Church leaders) make sure that people like this mother continue to have children they could not properly take care of and support. Anong klaseng mga buhay ang kayang ibigay ng mga magulang na sa umpisa pa lang ay sobrang salat na sa buhay? Big families are great as long as you can properly support the needs of every member of the family. Moralists should figure out what they really stand for–if they’re really for the quality of life then they should actually support aggressive methods of family planning especially if they stop and consider the kind of life the children would be born into.

Categories: politics
  1. February 6, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    Catholics do not believe in the birth control pill but they do not object to avoidance at the time of ovulation.

  2. February 21, 2007 at 7:05 am

    Yes, they do promote “sex abstinence” during ovulation. I’m not pushing the Church or the government to advocate birth control. All I’m asking is that they or the government provide right and proper education for the masses about family planning. 🙂

  3. August 16, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    This is very nice and informative post. I have bookmarked your site in order to find out your post in the future.

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