17 December 2012

Ipasa, now nah!

Can you believe that it takes more than a decade to pass a bill in this country I call home? How long, right, how long?

But alas, after 14 years, we now saw how the Congress and Senate came to their senses (well, most of them anyway) and voted to pass the controversial Reproductive Health Bill. 

At the RH Bill-themed International Women's Day celebs last March 2011. 
Cynthia Alexander performing in the background, onstage.

I can't believe it. I seriously can't believe it! I used to ask my co-women's rights advocates if we will see this bill pass in our lifetime. Yes, I was cynical. We're in the Philippines, can you blame me? This is a country where laws on rape or violence against women and children take more than half a decade or more to be enacted into law. Gapang is how we call it. Ginagapang ang bill. Ten years, more or less. And for the RHBill, 14 years. Pare, kung nagkaanak ako nun, haiskul na siya ngayon, di ba? Ganun teh.

I still have this very, very old campaign pin in my collection, 
before they jazzed it up to the purple ribbon campaign thing 
we know now. Kamusta naman.

But some people wonder why I'm concerned about this bill eh tomboy na tomboy ako. There are several reasons why we should also be concerned, but I'm not sure if the newer versions of that law will address us directly. It used to, actually. I wrote this article to enumerate the reasons where lesbians are directly affected by the RH Bill. Ewan na lang ang mangyayari sa bicameral session chenes next. Maybe that's one compromise they had to do.

My faculty office door. Bringing with me 
my advocacy wherever I go, wherever I am.

But still, lesbian or straight, this is still very important for all of us. Primarily, education. As in, may couples sa prubinsiya na nilalabhan ang condom para gamitin ulit, kasi mahal bumili. Kamusta naman! Merong sex workers na iinom lang daw siyang ilang litro ng tubig after makipag-sex show, malinis na daw etits niya after nun. I actually had a bisexual ex who had sex with a guy na, when I asked her if they had safe sex, ang sagot sa akin ay pinaghugas naman daw niya ng etits ang boylet kaya safe. TUMBLING!!! Count mo pa yung mga teens na akala nila, dahil first time nila makikipag-sex, di daw sila mabubuntis nun. Oh I take that back; may officemate yata ako noon na ganun din ang mind frame. Ayun, kaboom ang tyan teh. Kamusta naman di ba.

 Educate yourself. Know how to use these things. 
[July 2011 at the RH Bill March in UP]

Many women's rights advocate friends of mine are happily celebrating now, I'm sure. And my fellow LGBTQ rights advocates are celebrating as well. If this bill saw the light, then maybe our very own 10-plus year Anti-Discrimination Bill to protect LGBTQs in the Philippines is next in line somewhere. Before Erap impeachment time pa ito teh, isipin mo naman. Hay naku. Let's see da luk.

Congratulations, women of the Philippines. Para sa ating lahat ito.

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