25 November 2010

monthly curse, centuries curse

My freaking period came in early today and I don't know why. I'm supposed to get it like next week pa but here it is, waking me up from deep slumber. And I hate it. And yes, that is why I call it the monthly curse. Once a month, I hate being a woman because of this. I'm sure many of you out there could relate. Group hug!!!

So what does this mean to me? Super-back ache, the lower region or whatever you call that area right above the butt. I don't get pains on my a
bdomen or that general area. I don't know why. It has always been like that for me, ever since I was in college. Back then, the pain was worse -- I literally can't get up from bed as I am rendered helpless from the waist down. I hated it. Now, it's not like that but it still hurts like hell. Well okay, sometimes I can't get up but it's not that worse. It depends on my physical well-being at a given time, I think. Since I have been working out regularly for the past two months, the pain is not that persistent. So I have to keep up with this workout thing for this curse. And yes, AlaxanFR is my best friend as well during these trying times. Yes, Manny Pacquiao, please keep on endorsing that pain killer. I heart you.

Ah, curses! Good thing it came today so I'll be freer to roam around next week yay! Next week is Pride Week since Pride March happens on December 4. Yeah yeah, I'm marching, I'm marching, get off my back he
heh (or get me on my back? Hehe sorry can't resist the segue :P). Two good arguments by two queer women sold me on the idea this year, so... Well maybe a little bit of marching but you know me, ever the photo documentor, so I am ever-present and I roam around. So I'll be doing coverage work for my Pinoy LGBT stint at POC (haha yeah Queer Woman number 1 made argument#1 when she was running out of arguments to convince me to march: "Libay, please attend the Pride March because we need pictures for our articles!" Hahaha! I said "Sure, fine, okay, let go of my arm now." Chos! :P). But as usual, I document these things for my own pictorial archive of the LGBT movement here in the country. But we'll talk about that more next time.

So anyway, last Tuesday, I found myself in dirty, grimy Manila to collect some overdue writers payments and stuff. As I was walking along the Intramuros side where the Manila Cathedral is, I did a double-take because I saw something at the facade.


Can't see it? Let's take a closer look.

To the left, to the left.
Sorry Beyonce but it ain't about being bootylicious.

To the right (wing), to the right (wing)...
What's the freaking number for?
"Call us if you hate the RH bill, too,
so we can throw curses at these Damasos..."

I was like, what the fuck is that????????????? And yeah, I guess it's all about fucking, and being fucked, for centuries now. Centuries-old curse: religious intolerance!

Since I was preoccupied last weekend up to early this week, I didn't have time to update myself with local news. I was just mortified when my friends from the Reproductive Health advocacy circles started posting videos on Facebook about what happened last weekend.

This particular one interests me the most, since it was also edited out of convenience when this bit made it to the news.

And wait for what that guy shouts at 00:06:14 and 00:06:30. Yes, you have to hold on to your seats for that. Ready? Press play.

Did you miss it? That dude said "You should have told your mothers to have aborted you!" [06:14] and that lady said "Ask your mothers to abort you!" [06:30] and then the woman protester at the end just kept on saying how, in the depressed (poor) areas, you really can't do the natural method since it doesn't work, so she did pills and stuff.

Huwaaw! May ganung factor???? Away, Satan!!!!! *tumbling!*

So that explains that sign I saw at the facade. Freaky, huh?

But I like how the freethinkers just clapped their hands when those two peeps just shouted those lines. So, um, sir, ma'am, are you pro-abortion, then? Homaygad! Did your god hear you shout that? Tsk tsk. Say 10 Our Fathers, 20 Hail Marys and 30 Glory Bes now. Now nah. For salvation!

Hay naku. This is how warped this issue has become. But this still proves
one point: that their freaking rosary is still inserted inside our freaking ovaries. Hate that.

All this Pro-Life/Pro-Choice/RH talk just makes me flashback in a weird way during this time I was with my film school friends when we were working with this Fil-Canadian lady producing a documentary for TV called "The Role of the Filipina in National Development" back in 1996. Oh man, I was what, 22 or 23 then? Jeez! And ever the videographer, I was carrying the camera and we walked inside Caritas Manila to interview some woman there who was supposed to give her insights about the docu topic. But just when we entered one of the offices, some crazy nun started showing us these huge posters of aborted fetuses which
of course had to look all gory and icky and stuff. One even shoved this small figurine she was holding in her hand in my face while she was ranting about the "philosophies" behind those crazy posters. At first, I couldn't make out what that figurine was, but upon closer look, ah yeah it's that -- an aborted fetus. Made of rubber, I think. Or made of plastic, like them. If my life were a graphic novel then, that scene would have carried a panel with my thought balloon reading: What is this nun about??? Getmeouttahere! Now naaaaaa!

That was so fucking crazy. My girl friend was looking at it as well, and I could see that she was having a harder time hiding her disgust. My guy best friend was also looking but as usual, the artistically weird person that he is, he just absorbed the scene and played along with the crazy nun. When our shoot was over, of course we discussed it and just laughed at the incident. We even thought of comeback scenarios for that nun, if ever that moment gets replayed in our lives. My girl friend would tell the nun that she was having--hold your horses!--premarital sex with her boyfriend!!!! My guy best friend would tell the nun that--oh nooo!--he masturbates!!! So I kinda ran out of my own shock value excuse since, um, hm, I was still a virgin then and um, hm, I didn't subscribe to any kind of "label" then (but of course by default, people think I'm straight because I have big boobs. Yes, that's a valid equation/hypothesis/conclusion in the Philippines). But ah, a couple of years later after that incident, I guess I made my big in-yo'-face: I became a lesbian!!!!! Insert thunder and lightning here. Woooooo! My ticket to damnation! Yes, my friends and I are a merry bunch of sinners.

And a few weeks after that shoot, a campaign was launched and the country -- or at least Metro Manila -- soon became familiar with the terms "pro-choice" and "pro-life." Hmmmmmm... When was this? Fourteen years ago? Hmmmmmmm...

Cut to: present time.

Fourteen years after, nothing much has changed. Well, the world changed, in some parts. Like hey, look at what our main colonial master did -- they legalized freaking gay marriage? Good heavens!!!! While us, its former colonial subject, still have people banishing satan awaaaaaaay! because people want to use condoms. And protect women. And protect people. Generally.

Haaaay lost...

I never really had a clearer and bigger picture about how fucked up RH situations are in the world because of bigotry, prejudice and religious righteousness until I started being exposed to women's issues at my former NGO, Isis International. While working there, I came upon this group Catholics for Choice or something like that which had really cool campaigns about contraceptive use.

Look at their poster:

Cool, huh. Look at more here.

But that's the thing. How come those Damaso RH "protesters" were excluded from this so-called religious ritual? They are, after all, Catholics, too, as they said. But alas, there is a "right kind of Catholic" as that pro-life person said in the video. Hmmmm...

The right kind of Catholic. What is that? Beats me. I've lived in this country for 37 years now and I don't think I've seen the right kind of Catholic, yet. I didn't know that there was a right way and a wrong way of practicing your religion according to so-called religious leaders. Hay curses, foiled again.

I think the point here is, when are they going to open their eyes to the real realities of things? Like that poor woman from the urban poor sector said, their realities are different where they are. But these church-going people in Manila Cathedral have their own kind of realities, I guess. I just wish they won't impose their own kind of morality on others, you know. Especially on the poor and disadvantaged people. Hay...

Manila, my Manila, what will happen to you?

And going back to me, I guess every time, every month, I get this monthly curse, it's just sad to think that I don't even have a say in what goes on in my body, according to the laws of this land, according to the non-insinuated "laws" of the Catholic church. Who owns women's bodies? Sadly, in the Philippines, not the women.

And I get reminded of that ownership every month. Every. Freaking. Month.

Where's that freaking Alaxan?????? *pop*


  1. A "Pocketful of Sunshine" for you! Hope it'll make your day today. :)

  2. Hehe, one of my friends appeared in the video. :D
    Winner talaga ang maturity ng comments, "You should have told your mothers to have aborted you!"

  3. thanks anonymous :)

    agree, malditera! :) super.