Saturday, October 17, 2009


I'm convinced that the internet is becoming the world's new confessional. I received this letter a couple of days ago from a Catolico Cerrado who just had to get some things off her chest.

Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009
Subject: Looking for 20 Filipinos to speak up

Dear Carlos,

I have long been for the passage of the RH bill and would really want to help. Unfortunately, "I ain't got no balls".

My family, especially my in-laws are mostly "Saradong Katoliko" and so are many of my dearest friends. They follow whatever the church dictates. It's very difficult for me. I am also a practicing Catholic and wonder why I so don't agree with the church on this issue. I support the bill but I'm afraid to speak up because I don't want to be condemned or ostracized especially by my friends.

The church has been such a big bully in all this. Although I'm sure you can find 20 people to speak up, I think there are perhaps more people who are just like me, supporting the bill but not openly.

Over the weekend I was with a mixed group of ladies, chatting while preparing food for typhoon victims. The question was asked "So how do you feel about Noynoy supporting the RH bill?'' to a lady whose family was working very hard to convince people to reject the bill but at the same time will be supporting Noynoy. She replied saying that they will be "working" on him to convince him to change his stand.

Many months ago, or was it maybe a year or so ago, (when this issue was all over the news), my parish church was working very hard to get our support for their anti-RH stand. They would pass a paper for us to sign DURING THE MASS--how desperate, I thought. I didn't sign it and I think a lot just passed it on without signing also. We've also recently had speeches from members of the parish talking about the "evils" of the bill, before the mass ended which meant that they had a captive market.

Also about the same time, I got into a discussion about this with a very close friend who was anti-RH bill. After I put forth all my arguments and she was kinda "losing the debate", she told me even then that anyway, this was not going to be passed because the church had already convinced GMA not to sign this. I guess this meant that even if I was right, it didn't matter because they were stronger and worked harder to block it.

In my daughter's school, they are always praying that the bill will not be passed. I, on the other hand, have been praying but for the passage of the bill and for the enlightenment of those working against its passage. My daughter knows how I feel about this bill but I told her to just follow what the school says so she doesn't get into trouble.

I feel for you because you are working so hard for this and I so agree we need this bill. I don't need to give you my reasons because you know more than me the merits and importance of this bill. I have in fact become convinced because of what I've read mostly from you.

Sorry if I seem like a big coward to you. I don't really think I can handle going up against the church. I'm no David against that Goliath.

Well, maybe you should take a poll on just how many there are of us--who are Catholics and support the bill but are afraid to openly go against the church. Maybe there's a way those of us who are not so courageous can show our numbers without identifying ourselves.


From: carlos celdran
Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 18:08:03
Subject: RE: Looking for 20 Filipinos to speak up

Hi there. Thank you so much for emailing me. I am amazed at the responses I have had these past few hours. So much support.

And although there really is no way to help if you hide your identity (Really, there isn't. Either one speaks up or doesnt'. There are no grey areas), I think you have already done quite enough.

Just speaking up with your family at the dinner table and instilling your values to your children and not allowing your kids to get brainwashed is already a courageous act. Not all battles have to be big ones. You are taking little steps. Good for you. It's better than not doing anything at all.

Once again, thanks so much for emailing me. It's really sweet of you. And trust me, although the bullies may have won this battle through unfair methods, people of my ilk are now realizing that we are not alone. The movement has started. And we are active. And we are thinkers. We'll get far. Maybe not tomorrow. But soon. Trust me.

All the best.

I wonder how many Dolores' there are out there. It really made me think. And really made me more determined to keep this discussion going. And how about you? Pipi ka ba O Pepe?