Sunday, November 16, 2008


It started off as a regular Sunday morning for me. The sun was shining, the air was clear, it couldn't have been a more perfect day for a tour of Intramuros. But when I got to San Agustin Church and saw one of those "We Oppose The RH Bill HB5043" signature sheets outside the front door, things changed a bit. At around ten am, near the end of my run, I saw a bunch of hastily xeroxed "coupon bond" petition papers with the words "We Oppose the Reproductive Health Bill" slathered all over the top. Right there and then, I stopped in my tracks and stared at it. And even though I have seen this petition for many Sundays prior, today was different. It seemed like time stopped and a spotlight washed over me - and the papers.  Flapping in the warm electric fan wind of the church, the list started to taunt me.  Each flap reminded me of all the years and lives that were wasted by the Catholic hierarchy's opposition to "Family Planning". Each flap was a backstreet abortion that could have been avoided if some poor mother had access to contraceptives.  Each flap reminded me of how the Catholic Church heirarchy will once again use heavy handed bullying and the propagation of lies to get their way with cowardly Philippine politicians.

And I don't know what came over me, but the next thing I knew was that I saw a pair of hands -my hands - reaching up for it, tearing it off the wall, and violently crumpling it into a wad. All this in full view of all my guests.  I was so livid, I had to take a break from touring to catch my breath.  And when the red veils finally lifted from my eyes, I realized that I felt, well, pretty good. So good that on my way home, I stopped by Malate Church and tore off the "Say No to RH Bill" tarpaulin banner that was hanging over the side entrance and ripped it to ribbons.

And you know what?  I highly recommend to anyone out there who shares my sentiments that you do the same. The act is absolutely liberating, the satisfaction was instantaneous, and believe it or not, nobody tried to stop me or arrest me.  And I'm telling you, whether it be through the bold physical destruction of the Church's attempts to interfere in politics, or the simple act of enlightening someone who blindly opposes the bill about how misguided they are, it feels wonderful to just let the people around you - and the Church itself - know that there are members of the flock who are not going to be led to slaughter easily regarding this matter.  

Can't wait for next Sunday.

Oh, and thanks Audrey N. Carpio for the lovely article on why Congressmen Should Join Facebook.