Thursday, October 9, 2008

Individual and Group Requirements

Please be reminded of the following requirements for our class:
1. Use of inclusive language, 10%
2. Attendance and class participation, 10%
3. Individual Journals, 40%
4. Group Activities, 40%

You have until October 17 to complete your individual journals/reaction papers. You can put these in our boxes or post them here or email them to us at or You need to submit at least 4 journal entries/reactions papers. For your group project, pick one among the suggested topics below. If you want to work on another topic, please inform us. Your group projects are due or or before October 31.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need more information and guidance.

Prof. Lizette G. Tapia-Raquel
Prof. Revelation E. Velunta


vannawl said...

Group Project.


The building of a Christian home is a life-long task calling for patience, understanding, and religious convictions on the part of every member of the family. Husband-wife relationship is the most important part of a Christian family. As a husband and wife, they have to discus their areas of responsibilities and areas of strengths and weaknesses. Together, set new goals for ministering to their children. As a husband and wife, the most important thing is to take an equally in the family responsibilities.
As Methodist and Baptist Christians we affirm the principle of responsible parenthood. The family, in its varying forms, constitutes the primary focus of love, acceptance, and nurture, bringing fulfillment to parents and child. Healthful and whole personhood develops as one is loved, responds to love, and in that relationship comes to wholeness as a child of God.
Each couple has the right and the duty prayerfully and responsibly to control conception according to their circumstances. They are, in our view, free to use those means of birth control considered medically safe. As developing technologies have moved conception and reproduction more and more out of the category of a chance happening and more closely to the realm of responsible choice, the decision whether or not to give birth to children must include acceptance of the responsibility to provide for their mental, physical, and spiritual growth, as well as consideration of the possible effect on quality of life for family and society.
To support the sacred dimensions of personhood, all possible efforts should be made by parents and the community to ensure that each child enters the world with a healthy body and is born into an environment conducive to the realization of his or her full potential.
When through contraceptive or human failure an unacceptable pregnancy occurs, we believe that a profound regard for unborn human life must be weighed alongside an equally profound regard for fully developed personhood, particularly when the physical, mental, and emotional health of the pregnant woman and her family show reason to be seriously threatened by the new life just forming. We reject the simplistic answers to the problem of abortion that, on the one hand, regard all abortions as murders, or, on the other hand, regard abortions as medical procedures without moral significance.

We begin with parenting--the most critical starting point. Perhaps nothing we humans do is more relentlessly demanding. To parent a child entails at least two decades of sustained attention; many see it as a lifetime commitment. It is difficult to think of an enterprise that is more deeply private. Childrearing is inseparable from daily domesticity--that messy accumulation of meals and rent payments, laughter and laundry, that fills a home. The kind of care parents give to children, the context they create for their growth, and the framework they create for later learning spring from the rhythms of that life and from the values that give it meaning.
At the same time, it is difficult to imagine an enterprise that has greater impact on public life--on the productivity of our citizenry, the vitality of our culture, and the strength of our public institutions. The time, resources, and energy that parents give to their children influence the children's success as students and their contributions as citizens. Parents are responsible to nurture their children the way they should be and when they grow old they will not depart from the teachings they heard.
Addressing the issue of responsible parenthood, was not to prescribe an approach to childrearing; rather, we sought to identify the kinds of information and services parents need for their own self-directed learning and growth, so that they can make sound choices for their children.
We proceed from these assumptions: When women and men make a reasoned commitment to have children, they are more likely to parent well. Their growing children are more likely to meet life with optimism, competence, and compassion. And when women and men are unprepared for the opportunities and responsibilities of parenthood--as is the case all too often nowadays--the risks to their children are many and serious due to many irresponsible parents.
When an unacceptable pregnancy occurs, a family—and most of all, the pregnant woman—is confronted with the need to make a difficult decision. We believe that continuance of a pregnancy that endangers the life or health of the mother, or poses other serious problems concerning the life, health, or mental capability of the child to be, is not a moral necessity. In such cases, we believe the path of mature Christian judgment may indicate the advisability of abortion. We support the legal right to abortion as established by the 1973 Supreme Court decision. We encourage women in counsel with husbands, doctors, and pastors to make their own responsible decisions concerning the personal and moral questions surrounding the issue of abortion (¶ 161J UMC Book of Discipline).
We therefore encourage our churches and common society to:

1.Provide to all education on human sexuality and family life in its varying forms, including means of marriage enrichment, rights of children, responsible and joyful expression of sexuality, and changing attitudes toward male and female roles in the home and the marketplace;
2.Provide counseling opportunities for married couples and those approaching marriage on the principles of responsible parenthood;
3.Build understanding of the problems posed to society by the rapidly growing population of the world, and of the need to place personal decisions concerning childbearing in a context of the well-being of the community;
4.Provide to each pregnant woman accessibility to comprehensive health care and nutrition adequate to ensure healthy children;
5.Make information and materials available so all can exercise responsible choice in the area of conception controls. We support the free flow of information about reputable, efficient, and safe nonprescription contraceptive techniques through educational programs and through periodicals, radio, television, and other advertising media. We support adequate public funding and increased participation in family planning services by public and private agencies, including church-related institutions, with the goal of making such services accessible to all, regardless of economic status or geographic location;
6.Make provision in law and in practice for voluntary sterilization as an appropriate means, for some, for conception control and family planning;
7.Safeguard the legal option of abortion under standards of sound medical practice;
8.Make abortions available to women without regard to economic standards of sound medical practice, and make abortions available to women without regard to economic status;
9.Monitor carefully the growing genetic and biomedical research, and be prepared to offer sound ethical counsel to those facing birth-planning decisions affected by such research;
10.Assist the states to make provisions in law and in practice for treating as adult minors who have, or think they have, venereal diseases, or female minors who are, or think they are, pregnant, thereby eliminating the legal necessity for notifying parents or guardians prior to care and treatment. Parental support is crucially important and most desirable on such occasions, but needed treatment ought not to be contingent on such support;
11. Understand the family as encompassing a wider range of options than that of the two-generational unit of parents and children (the nuclear family); and promote the development of all socially responsible and life-enhancing expressions of the extended family, including families with adopted children, single parents, those with no children, and those who choose to be single;
12.View parenthood in the widest possible framework, recognizing that many children of the world today desperately need functioning parental figures, and also understanding that adults can realize the choice and fulfillment of parenthood through adoption or foster care;
13.Encourage men and women to actively demonstrate their responsibility by creating a family context of nurture and growth in which the children will have the opportunity to share in the mutual love and concern of their parents; and
14.Be aware of the fears of many in poor and minority groups and in developing nations about imposed birth-planning, oppose any coercive use of such policies and services, and strive to see that family-planning programs respect the dignity of each individual person as well as the cultural diversities of groups.
** From The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church — 2004. Copyright © 2004 by The United Methodist Publishing House. © 2008 United Methodist Communications

"Responsible Parenthood," speaks to the importance of this issue: "Each couple has the right and the duty prayerfully and responsibly to control conception according to their circumstances. They are, in our view, free to use those means of birth control considered medically safe. As developing technologies have moved conception and reproduction more and more out of the category of a chance happening and more closely to the realm of responsible choice, the decision whether or not to give birth to children must include acceptance of the responsibility to provide for their mental, physical, and spiritual growth, as well as consideration of the possible effect on quality of life for family and society.
"To support the sacred dimensions of personhood, all possible efforts should be made by parents and the community to ensure that each child enters the world with a healthy body and is born into an environment conducive to the realization of his or her full potential."


Concepts of Christian Parenting

Mention children, and many parents will think of Psalms 127:3: "Children are a gift of the Lord".
Good Parenting Does Not Require Perfection
A parent can assume that he can be a responsible, successful parent without being perfect. Faith in Christ strikes at the root of the problems of being a parent because forgiveness and love, not obedience and perfection, constitute faith's bottom line. Realistically, the home will be a place of conflict, sadness, tension, hurt, and sinfulness.
The Christian knows that the task will not require sinlessness. He understands that the dynamics of Christian relationships are built around forgiveness, grace, forbearance, understanding, and love. These dynamics are examples discovered in the biblical picture of God the Father. He is the ultimate parental model. The dynamics that God exemplifies to us are these: caring, responding, disciplining, respecting, knowing,, and forgiving.
Good Parenting is good relating:
Good parenting requires the building of warm relationships. Any helping relationships should be warm, honest, affectionate, and parenting is a helping relationship. God's love as a model is not expressed in stern, cool, authoritarian discipline; His relationship with his children is expressed warmly, intimately, and forgivingly.
Good Parenting produces a Healthy Self- Concept
Good parenting will result in the child's feeling of worth. What the child ultimately thinks of himself is a basic concern of the parenting process. As a child grows into adulthood, a good feeling about himself becomes a basis for good action. Parenting should impart self-respect to the child.
Good Parenting Produces Self-Discipline
Good parenting should result in inner control. The child is to be handed so that eventually, he will become responsively independent of the parents and be able to function in society on his own. For this to be accomplished parents must build eventual detachment into the disciplining process. They will need to attach certain consequences for others as well as for the child.
Good Parenting Develops Sensitivity
Good parenting should lead to the development of empathy in the child's personality. A large measure of internal self-discipline results from learning to respect others.
Parenting Includes Power
Parents posses a certain power. Parental power is basic to all of the major national parent programs but one. The parental power is modified. It is limited and governed by the framework of God's values and standards. Parental power is to be exercised toward biblical ends and is to be harnessed by kindness and love. Thus, the Christian can more easily validate parental power as being part of God's order because that power is protected from misuse.
Use of Punishment in Parenting
The use of physical punishment from time to time is no substitute for positive words or acts. In the struggle of immature children to grow up, they need encouragement. And it may take many positive remarks to overcome a few impulsive, critical ones. Thus, the positive, reinforcing approach of the behaviorists can prove to be a suitable practice for Christian parents. Encouragement can build the child's self-esteem while improving his behavior.

Building the Child's Awareness of God in Parenting
Parenting includes building the child's awareness of God. Parents are in a position to help children see the consequences of their behavior for themselves and for others. Saint Paul says in Ephesians 6.4 "Bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
*(Family Ministry by Charles M. Sell, 1981 by the Zondervan Corporation Grand Rapids, Michigan)

What to teach Children
Being responsible parents, we need to know what to teach to our children as they grow. Remember the proverbs? We are urged to teach the children what they ought to know so that when they grow old, they will carry it throughout their lives.
To be thoughtful of others
The small child thinks only in terms of himself. His thoughtfulness and concern for others does not develop naturally. It must be learned. When parents are considerate to their children, usually their children will respond with consideration. Parents must correct their children when they demonstrate selfishness while playing with others.
To be responsible
Developing responsibility should come with maturity. AS the child grows older, he is expected to take tasks and do them well. A child has to learn responsibility.. He must learn to do things for himself and must experience a feeling of satisfaction and acceptance when he has done a job well done.
To respect property rights
Young children often want the toys of others. They do not know what belongs to them and what does not. The teaching of property rights should begin during the toy stage. Children must come to understand that they can play with other's toys with permission but not take them as their own.
*(Weldon and Joyce Viertel. Marriage and Family Life. 1978 by Carib Baptist Publication. pp 158)

As Methodist Christians I believe that Family Planning makes sense!
The United Methodist Church supports the right for men and women worldwide to have the ability to choose when, or if, to have children. This right is viewed as an important component of overall health care provisions. Access to family planning and health services prevents maternal and child deaths and enhances the delivery of healthy babies.
Theological Statement
"The creation of the world out of chaos into order is the initial biblical witness. In this witness is the affirmation of the freedom and responsibility of humankind. We affirm God to be the Creator, the one who grants us freedom, and the one to whom we are responsible "God's ongoing creative and re-creative concern for the universe is expressed through Jesus Christ, who has called us to find the meaning of our lives in dual love of God and neighbor. In this context, we live responsibly before God, writing history by the actions of our lives. The imperative upon the individual Christian and the Christian community is to seek patterns of life, shape the structures of society, and foster those values which will dignify human life for all.
"We are living in an age of possibility in which we are called under God to serve the future with hope and confidence. Christians have no alternative to involvement in seeking solutions for the great and complex set of problems facing the world today. These issues are closely interrelated: hunger, poverty, disease, lack of potable water, denial of human rights, economic and environmental exploitation, over-consumption, technologies that are inadequate or inappropriate, rapid depletion of resources, and continuing growth of population. None can be addressed in isolation."
*(From Resolution #159 in the 2004 Book of Resolutions)

What is Family Planning?
One widely utilized definition of "family Planning" is "A program to regulate the number and spacing of children in a family through the practice of contraception or other methods of birth control." A more expansive definition includes language about counseling, access to modern, safe and effective contraceptives and maternal health services.
What does The United Methodist Church say about “family planning?”
The United Methodist Church has a long-standing position in support of family planning. Family planning allows families to space their children, prevent the spread of disease, reduce abortions and enhance the overall quality of life.
Family Planning is not abortion.
Family planning prevents unplanned pregnancies thereby preventing abortions. According to the United Methodist Church.
Why support family planning?
• Prevents unwanted pregnancies and reduces abortions. Every year nearly 80 million unintended pregnancies occur worldwide. More than half of these pregnancies end in abortion. Twenty million of these abortions are carried out under illegal and often unsafe conditions. An estimated 150 million women in developing countries say they would prefer to plan their families but are not using contraception, and another 350 million women lack access to effective family planning methods. Each year, more than 500,000 women worldwide die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes, almost all of them in the developing world.
• Protects young people. Sexual activity and childbearing early in life carry significant risks for young people all around the world. Teen mothers face twice the risk of dying from childbirth than do women in their twenties, and their children are more vulnerable to health risks as well. Every year, almost half of all new HIV infections and at least one-third of all new sexually transmitted infections occur to people younger than 25.
Prevents transmission of diseases. Voluntary family planning and other reproductive health services can help couples avert high-risk pregnancies, prevent unwanted childbearing and abortion, and avoid diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, which can lead to death, disability, and infertility.
As followers of Christ we are called to bring health and wholeness to all God's people. United Methodism's founder, John Wesley had a burning passion for health and the desire to see people have access to goods and services needed to live life abundantly as well as faithfully. Speaking our in the public square on behalf of the marginalized and those who lack services is one way to achieve a world of justice and freedom from pain and suffering.
Homes should have children but not too many! It is normal for couples to want and to have children and it is sealed with the primary purpose of their marriage to provide homes into which children can be born and nurtured. They share in their children's joy as well as in their disappointments. They sacrifice in providing for their children and thus, demonstrate unselfish love. They share in the instruction of their children and feel a sense of accomplishment when they succeed. Parent's lives are extended through their children. Their influence, teachings, and name are perpetuated through their descendants. Children develop a concept of his own personality from his parents' think of him. If they apply constant pressure on him to achieve the impossible, the children will develop emotional disturbances. If the children fell accepted and encouraged to live up to their possibilities, they will become well adjusted.
Again, Family planning makes sense indeed! Sensible family planning will allow most couples to have two or three children without endangering the survival of the human race or placing the home under undue strain.
The discipline of children is very important to consider in family planning. Without obedience, the entire plan for the child's training is ineffective. Paul commanded the children to obey their parents ( Col. 3.20). In Ephesians 6.1, Paul connects the fifth commandment of honoring father and mother to the imperative of children obeying their parents. We must take note of this: A child learns obedience in the home and extends that attitude outside the home. God gave parents divine authority to compel obedience from their children. Obedience must be taught. Instruction in obedience requires discipline. Discipline is related to the world disciple which means learner. It refers to controlling, educating, and correcting. Parents are responsible for directing the activities of their children, not only telling them what to do but seeing to it that they carry out the instructions. Parental discipline is necessary if the home is to be preserved and the nation is to be given stability.
As researchers, to sum up our paper, we believe that the greatest contribution and most important responsibility of parents to their children is to teach them fear, respect, love and submit to God as the Hebrew parents did when they were instructed to teach their children the laws of God and to fear God (Deut. 4. 10 and Prov. 22.6). The future of a nation is threatened when parents neglect their divine commission to teach their children about God, and the hearts of many neglectful parents are broken when their children go astray.
Let us then be challenge to be a responsible parents with an ideal family planning centered on God in order to build a joyful family that stays together forever.

** The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church — 2004. Copyright © 2004 by The United Methodist Publishing House. © 2008 United Methodist Communications

** Family Ministry by Charles M. Sell, 1981 by the Zondervan Corporation Grand Rapids, Michigan

** Weldon and Joyce Viertel. Marriage and Family Life. 1978 by Carib Baptist Publication. pp 158

Post By Our Group:

1.Van Nawl
2.Khar Ling
3.San Pwint
4.Grace Zung Tin Mawi
5.Choong ok Kang (Michelle)

ma beate mantilla hernandez said...

Union Theological Seminary
Brgy Sampaloc 1, Pala Pala Dasmarinas Cavite

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements in
Advocacy Paper
Domestic Violence

Submitted by:
Bevelyn Fullantes
Edwin Abag
Emilio Manaois
Gemma Cojano
James Canguingin
Donna Bella Agaser
Ma. Beate Mantilla-Hernandez

Submitted to:
Profs. Revelation Velunta and Lizette Tapia-Raquel

October 2008

Bevelyn Fullantes
Gemma Cojano
Emilio Manaois
Edwin Abag
Donna Agaser
James Caguingin
Ma. Beate Hernandez


Domestic violence occurs across the world, in various cultures, and affects people across society, irrespective of economic status. And this is one of the Philippines primary problems is facing the issue of “domestic violence”. And this is always happen in everyday life. Men, women and children are experiencing violence that affects the life of the individuals. How we can help to stop this problem? By these, some people do not have much understanding in what they are facing. Nothing sends help to them to understand clearly about the domestic violence really is. Who are those people who can help in times of need?
Domestic Violence awareness handbook says “all of we know how much needs to be done to take meaningful steps to end domestic violence”. Incline to these, we must have deeply understanding about domestic violence is? People must know and understand that this problem is not a private matter, especially for those people who encounter violence.
They must have a broaden mind to deal with a comprehensive way. There are many different theories as to the causes of domestic violence. These include psychological theories that consider personality traits and mental characteristics of the offender, as well as social theories which consider external factors in the offender's environment, such as family structure, stress, social learning. As with many phenomena regarding human experience, no single approach appears to cover all cases.
Domestic violence can take the form of physical violence, including direct physical violence ranging from unwanted physical contact to rape and murder. Indirect physical violence may include destruction of objects, striking or throwing objects near the victim, or harm to pets. In addition to physical violence, spousal abuse often includes mental or emotional abuse, including verbal threats of physical violence to the victim, the self, or others including children, ranging from explicit, detailed and impending to implicit and vague as to both content and time frame, and verbal violence, including threats, insults, put-downs, and attacks. Nonverbal threats may include gesturer facial expressions, and body postures. Psychological abuse may also involve economic and/or social control,
Shelters and hotlines began to spring up around the country. What began as a social, service-based response to crisis began to take on political urgency. Violence Against Women as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, The Department of Justice and others.
At every turn, a woman is the one who is seeking help could expect indifference, hostility, and endangerment. It became clear that helping women in crisis required more than front-line emergency. But one of the greatest challenges facing the domestic violence movement and also some legal advisers is the widespread perception that spousal abuse is a what we called “private matter” domestic violence is often perceived only as private business between two individuals that requires therapy rather that intervention. In the other hand, creative approaches must needed in order to move a private matter into the sphere of public concern and to translate that public concern into a widespread social consensus for action.
Domestic violence (also known as domestic abuse or spousal abuse) occurs when a family member, partner or ex-partner attempts to physically or psychologically dominate another. Domestic violence often refers to violence between spouses, or spousal abuse but can also include cohabitants and non-married intimate partners. Domestic violence occurs in all cultures; people of all races, ethnicities, religions, sexes and classes can be perpetrators of domestic violence. Domestic violence is perpetrated by both men and women.

Isang napakahalagang malaman at suriin ang kahulugan ng tinatawag na Dometic Violence. Ito ang tungkol sa pag-galang sa mga karapatang-tao. Halimbawa na ang nasasakupan sa loob ng tahanan. Sinasaktan ang bata ng isang ina, ito ay tinatawag na Domestic Violence. Ang pangtahanan na usapin. Tulad ng paggamit ng kanilang lakas upang matamo ang kanilang ibig. Karahasan sa loob ng pamilya, kalupitan at hindi makamtan ang karapatang pang-tao dahil sa tinatawag na Domestic Violence. Ang karapatan sa pagpapasya sa kanyang sarili bilang isang tao na may bisang tao ang siyang dapat na lubos at malayang magpasya sa kanyang sarili. Ngunit may mga taong masyadong malupit at ito ay ginagamitan ng kanilang mga lakas at sinasaktan ang kapwa. Ito ang isang problema ng karamihang mamamayan.

Ang karapatan ng mga biktima at ng kanilang mga pamilya na humanap ng katarungan sa mga paglabag sa karapatang-tao, kabilang ang sapat na kompensasyon o o indemnipikasyon, at iba pa sa mga epektibong parusa at mga garantiya laban sa pagpapaulit – ulit at kawalan ng pananagutan.

Ang karapatang para mabuhay ng maayos, hinahadlagan ang karapatang para maging malaya, particular laban sa walang batayan at walang katwirang pagpapakasakit sa kapwa. Tulad sa mga kababaihang ang indibidwal at kolektibong karapatan ng mag Battered Women, na maging ligtas at panatag sa kanilang sariling pagkatao, tahanan at mga epekto laban sa mga di makatwirang pag gamit ng kanilang lakas.

Ang usapin na ito ay ang pagkawalan ng karapatan, ito ay dapat na sa atin, bigyan ng pansin. Marami ng mga biktima sa mga kababaihan, tulad ng paghahanap buhay, mula sa hanapbuhay, pagdating sa bahay na may maraming gawaing na naghihintay, walang panahon para sa sarili, kundi sa mga gawain na lang nakatali ang kanilang isip.

The Filipino family is the foundation of our society. As a basic social institution, it must be strengthened and preserved at all cost. Family life is protected and anything that happens within it is deemed as exclusively private matters. Members are under pressure to keep the family intact by maintaining their silence on domestic issues that might bring shame, scandal and possible break-up Intra-familial and household violence, however, is one problem that can no longer be hidden within the family closet. Its consequences extend beyond the nuclear family and bear on the development of the community and society. It is a problem that warrants public attention and social response. Substantial evidence show that violence and abuse are occurring in many homes, take several forms and are often directed toward spouses, children, elders and domestic helpers. A closer look, though, at the profile of the victims would show that domestic violence is gender-based, or particularly, female-focused.
In the 1,000 cases of family violence from 1994 to the first quarter of 1996 studies by the University of the Philippines Center for Women’s Studies, women and girls constitute ninety-eight percent (98%)of the survivors. In over half of the cases, the assailants of the abused women are their partners and spouses. Other male perpetrators of violence are the victim’s father, uncle, stepfather, cousin and brother. The study also cited recent estimates that range from low ratio of 1 out of 10 to a high of 6 out of 10 women being assaulted in the home.

All of you know how much needs to be done to take meaningful steps to end domestic violence and sexual assault. We need tough law enforcement, aggressive prosecutions, effective prevention programs and available shelters for families in distress. Most importantly, we need to insure that more people know and understand that domestic violence is not a private matter. It is a critical national problem that affects us all -- in every community, in every work place and in every school.

In the midst of the persistent patriarchal culture of Filipinos, women’s organizations have however successfully managed to bring the issue of domestic violence to Congress which passed the Anti-Violence against Women and their Children Act in 2004.
Under this law, violence means not only physical abuse such as beatings and sexual attacks, but also that which is economic or psychological in nature. The law defines economic abuse as the withdrawal of financial support or preventing the victim from engaging in any legitimate occupation, except in cases wherein the other spouse or partner objects on valid, serious and moral grounds.

Psychological abuse is when a woman or child is put to shame in public and subjected to verbal abuse, among others. Treating the woman as a sexual object ranks as “sexual abuse."
If serious violence is committed against women while they are pregnant or in the presence of her children, courts are instructed to apply the maximum penalty allowable which includes life imprisonment. Chauvinism is a common thinking among perpetrators. If you ask them why you hurt your wife, a lot of them would simply say they did it because they want to reaffirm that being the man, they are the head of the family. In many cases, a sexist attitude is compounded by problems of drug addiction, alcoholism, gambling and womanizing.

Children, too, are not spared. Alongside the physical and emotional battering many women receive are the emotional scars left on children who are caught in the middle. There are at least three million children in the Philippines who are exposed to violence at home according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which provides shelter, legal aid, psychosocial help, and medical aid to victims and their children.

It maintains such children suffer the traumatic effects for the rest of their lives. Adolescents who witness domestic violence between their parents are significantly more likely to suffer from symptoms of depression. In a study of adolescents in the Philippines conducted by Michelle Hindin, PhD, a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Socorro Gultiano, PhD, of the University of San Carlos in the Philippines, nearly half of all young people reported witnessing parental domestic violence. One in ten of the male adolescents and one in five of the female adolescents reported wishing they were dead occasionally or most of the time in the four weeks preceding the survey.

The accounts of creation found in Scripture make it clear that God created man and woman with equal dignity. Both reflect the divine glory and together they complement one another. Both derive their inherent dignity, personal goodness, and original beauty from the Creator who delights in the creation of man and woman and affirms their existence by exclaiming "how good" it is (cf. Gen. 1:31).
God blessed man and woman with the capacity to be co-creators and to be the foundational members of the family. In this blessing we find the theological and spiritual foundation of the family. They were to cultivate the earth together in mutual help, continuing the creative action of God.
The Fall and the Redemption of the Human Person
The dream that God had for man and woman was one of abundance of life. Original sin, however, gave way to fragmentation and broken relationships. Utter confidence in God and trust in one another was replaced by insecurity and fear. Sin transformed the original paradise that God created for man and woman into arid desolation and banishment where the most basic needs for the sustenance of life and bringing forth new life would now be achieved only through great effort (cf. Gen. 3: 16 - 19).
The consequence of this original fall is most dramatically portrayed in the story of Cain and Abel. Anger, resentment, and insecurity grew within the heart of Cain. After inviting Abel out for a walk, "...Cain turned on his brother Abel and killed him" (Gen. 4:8). With this example, Scripture teaches that violence and death are born within the human heart that is broken and wounded by insecurity, jealousy and fear.
We cannot understand domestic violence or any other types of violence merely as a sociological phenomenon, nor can we seek solutions through social efforts alone. Violence, at its very core, is a spiritual malaise and can only be fully eradicated through personal conversion leading to ongoing transformation.
In Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God made flesh, we have been adopted as sons and daughters of God. Through the great mystery of the Incarnation, the Son of God became intimately united with every human being. By sharing our broken and fragile human nature, Jesus Christ joined himself with each person and shares with us every human experience except sin, ultimately freeing us from the bondage of sin, death, and all the other consequences of sin. "It is in Christ and through his blood that we have been redeemed and our sins forgiven, so immeasurably generous is God's favor to us" (Eph. 1:7).
The redemption of Christ touches every aspect of human experience and brings about a transformation of the human heart. Our human hearts are no longer ruled by the wound of sin and hatred. We are not to seek domination of others. Human violence, rooted in insecurity and fear, can now be healed by the love of God that has been poured into our hearts (cf. Rom. 5:4).
In Jesus Christ, our restored relationships are based on respect and trust and, above all, on love – a sacrificial love that seeks the good of the other. This is the foundation of all our relationships, and in particular, of the relationship in Christian marriage and family life.


Many Filipinos suffered from poverty, that’s why some woman are going to other country to become a domestic helper, the reason why, to earn money, to give a support to the Family.
There was a young woman named Leony who suffered violence in Singapore, Miss Leony lived in small town of Ramon Isabela, 19 years old single, and she decided to work abroad, Leony had a beautiful dream, she wanted to give her family a beautiful life, send her sister to a better education. It was in 1999 when she decided to go to greener pasture.
There she felt regretful, Leony wanted to go back to the Philippines, when I happened to be with her for a conversation, she mentioned about her contract which is good only for 3years. Kailangan ko magtiis, she lamented, and time, days months pass. She would spend her day off to talk to her family on the phone, para lang mawala ang pagkahomesick niya.
Her lady employer and her husband had a vacation, she was all the time confident of her situation regardless of some stories of other Filipino workers who suffered ill fate from their employers. While being away from home, Leony was left with another household help, that night her companion of the opposite sex made a plan to rape her. This man went to her room and successfully fulfilled his plan for Leony. She cried for help but no one ever tried to rescue her from the hands of her perpetrator.
Leony articulated her situation, she had a great pain experience because of what happened to her that night, her plans and dreams for her family faded, there was no day she spent without crying and asking for God’s help. She was raped and her strength was all consumed at the thought of loosing her integrity and self worth, this event actually happens every time she’s left at home.
Months and year passed, she lived in the house with a continuing experience of violence and abuse, it was not later that she experience an extra ordinary feeling, she vomits in the morning and shaky head. She was so afraid, she wanted to run the days faster, to finish her contract, until finally her employer decided to sent her to the doctor and had her checked up. She is now pregnant, malimit syang nahihilo, nagsusuka. The lady employer got very angry because she suspected that her husband did this to Leony, she asked if her husband is the one, Leony hardly said a word, she just wanted to go home to the Philippines, she can’t communicate so well, and unable to defend herself.
Leony finally was allowed by her employer to get home, she flew back to the Philippines, nobody knows the reason bakit sya umuwi. Leony’s situation even complicated when she wanted to abort the baby. But she said: Im affraid baka ako ay mamatay, the only thing that she is doing is always crying and asking God for His Guidance. Leony placed her trust and forgiveness, intrusting the words that na hindi siya pababayaan ng Dios.
Leony said she did not expected her family would be with be beside her, they supported her, though some people judges her and keeps on asking who is the father, they are asking what happened: bakit daw hindi lumaban si Leony. I have nothing to do she said.
Leony finally gave birth to a baby girl, ipinanganak na ni Leony ang bata. Now she is 8 years old, Leony remained to be single, she is now 28yrs. Old. She is now enjoying her business (Cafeteria).
It is not easy to go aboard, being far from family is not even a good situation, neither it is easy to accept what happened to Leony, but Im glad to meet her and conversed with her. She not only shared her experience but change my view on life, naging matatag siya, di siya nawala ng pag asa. All of us may face this as a challenge kung kaya nating lumaban.

We live in a world where there is oppression, genocide, rape, apartheid,torture, human trafficking, and myriad forms of violence that destroy God’s peace. All through human history, God has been working to reestablish the peace, the shalom, the well-being of creation. This ministry is also given to the church (Jeremiah 29:7). Peace is not just the absence of tension. It is also the presence of justice. The path to peace was and continues to be justice. It is the Christian’s responsibility to unite with God’s purpose of reestablishing peace and order. Salvation, therefore, cannot simply be a self-centered survival from ultimate judgment; it must also include the reconciliation of God’s whole world to God’s established purposes. The entire creation waits to be liberated from its bondage to decay (Romans 8:18-22). How, then, are believers to establish peace in a fallen world given to chaos, disharmony, disorder, and violence? Micah 6:8 tells us: He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
The prophet tells us that God has showed us, not simply told us, but showed us what is good. And how has God shown us justice, mercy, and humility? In the person, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As the Prince of Peace, Christ came to destroy sin and reestablish peace and order in creation. Orlando E. Costas observed that many English Bible translations prefer the term “righteousness” over “justice” in their translation of the Greek word dikaiosyne. “While righteousness can be an adequate translation… [dikaiosyne] is the most clearly technical term that the Old Testament uses to signify justice for the poor and oppressed, social justice…the term “righteousness” may be stylistically preferable but it is ideologically dangerous…”In the Micah 6:8 text cited above, the Lord requires that we do justice. As Costas notes, justice is a term that carries socio-ethical significance on behalf of the poor and oppressed, which includes victims of domestic violence. This means that the church must be a voice for the voiceless, an advocate for the oppressed, and seek peace for the victimized.

The Christian Response
Violence disrupts God’s design for humanity and creation. The believer is called to actively promote justice. The church must develop both short-term and long-term approaches. In the short-term, the safety of the victim and family members must be protected, and batterers must be held genuinely accountable for their violent actions. This can be accomplished first by listening and believing victims’ stories, and second by appropriate referral of all family members to agencies poised to provide immediate aid and long-term treatment. But it is equally important for clergy to develop a long-range plan for ministering to the broken by becoming educated about abuse, wrestling with God and scripture, adopting policies that bring God’s peace through justice, and training leaders and congregations in implementing an appropriate response. We must be a voice speaking into this issue – condemning all forms of advertisement, language, music, etc., that promote violence; preaching sermons, writing articles, and praying for victims of violence; educating our congregations and taking a clear stand against violence. The church and clergy must look for deeper theological themes and truth to confront domestic violence with authority and love. We ministers must do our homework and not be satisfied with easy answers. We must grapple with the issues. We must seek wisdom and learn, teach and preach against domestic violence from the pulpit with knowledge, understanding, and grace. Domestic violence is not only a physical or social crisis. It is a crisis of the human spirit and soul. It is a fallacy to think that God wants anyone to“just cope” with it.

Truly, violence exists and existed in the days of the prophets and in our days, many of our women suffered from violence and extreme abandonment, suffering happens to every part of the world. In the Old Testament, Hebrew prophets used women as a picture of a nation being abused by time and people. They were moved to clarify the waiting of God’s affection to her nation at the time of suffering and acceptance.
In view of increasing concern about prevailing violence among women within our culture, increased sensitivity to the means in which women’s sexually humiliation of wives may be, it is true that it could happened at the time of silence, in and outside our homes, family members are sometimes the abuser and the culprit.
Surprisingly, we are also staggered at the changing times, where people tend to become ready to accept new studies and approaches on handling this kind of cases, the winds of change is already here to accommodate new teaching and we are all summoned to give our share in fighting the battle of battered love.
In the course of learning, it turned our perception upside down, because we learned to see things more deeply and with great critical analysis, it should not give a negative perspective to a whole picture of the story.
In addition, below are some long term recovery and healthful strategies in the battle against and the advocacy of domestic violence. May this serve as guide in teaching as aid to direct the group and therapy for group discussion, it has convinced that power tool should also be used; this is composed of seven empowering tools that will help cater the need to:
1. SUPPORT and COMPASSION– never blame the victim of her/his predicament. Work through the trauma and show much extra care for the feeling and personal encounter. This marks the very first of importance, because it will absolutely make the victim understood and never be abandoned. A realization that people are ready to accept and are able to deal the situation to help him/her achieve recovery and development.
2. EDUCATION – the study of effects of abuse, not spotting the ways to repeat it and welcome destructive behavior but to lead a life that is purposeful. It is where people are given the wide description of abuse as a work for the community and not just those who are affected, that all of the member of the family and the society are responsible for the act.
3. ONGOING STRATEGIES – the full connection of emotions and full healing of the shame that you have encountered once you become a victim. Learning how to communicate the need and desires to assert rather than be aggressive and passive.
4. ABUSIVE PREVENTION STRATEGIES – learning how to prevent in becoming a abuser or being a victim in your intimate relationship. Learning how to avoid the common pitfalls of emotionally and physically abusive partner/relationship. Strategies on learning how to prevent domestic violence and abuse, either at your own hands or hands of your spouse.
5. LONG TERM RECOVERY STRATEGIES – to heal the dysfunctional or traumatic treatment you experienced in childhood. This will include continuing denial to come about what actually happened to you.
6. INFORMATION and RESOURCES for FURTHER HELP - this part will help the subject desire also in helping others who are experiencing the same situation. In effect you will not be satisfied by just sitting and reading this book but be persuaded to move and make action and involve in the advocacy of breaking the cycle of violence.

Ultimately the steps and traditions we’ve learned has convicted our personal desire to see people who are inflicted with abuse and violence, to pave a way to loose the reasons behind everything and presumably go for a better program and or nurture our thoughts on how to deal with them as a people of God, people who are called to nurture and teach.
I praise God for this opportunity to come across this interesting topics and learning material. Indeed, it has made us realize that when we are called to the ministry, life isn’t all about us, ourselves and our own, it will eventually move to a bigger scope and picture, we really need to make ourselves open to the whole world, its complex meaning and progress, though some of us reached that part, but this time, it has brought much weight and passion to do the task, it made us inspired more to be humble servant and not to conclude and think of bad things to other people.

editor-in-chief said...

(pang-unawa o pang-uuyam?)

Sa nabanggit na pelikula, buong inam at husay na ginampanan ni Monica Belluchi ang kanyang role, bilang isang babae na naging biktima ng pagkakataon. Hindi lingid sa ating kapanahunan na may mga ganitong kahalintulad na mga pangyayari. Mga babaing sadyang pinagkalooban ni Bathala ng labis at higit pa na kagandahan na nararapat taglayin ng isang babae. Sa ibang termino, “sinahod” lahat ng kagandahan isinabog ni Bathala. Kalimitan sila ang tampulan ng tukso at pang-uuyam ng maraming taong nakapaligid sa kanila, na kesyo malandi, makiri at madaling makakapag-asawa dahil habulin ng mga lalake. Ngunit sino ba ang dapat sisihin sa taglay nilang kagandahan? Ang kanila bang mga magulang? Si Bathala? O sila mismo na may katawan? Si Malena, sang-ayon sa kuwento ay buhat sa isang mahirap na pamilya, hindi malinaw kung bakit siya napakasal sa isang sundalo, marahil “arranged marriage” ang nangyari (dahil doon sa larawan ng kanilang kasal, hindi gaanong kaguwapuhan ang kaniyang naging asawa, at isa pa, mukhang may edad na ang lalake). Hindi rin sinabi kung may nanay pa siya o mga kapatid. Ang kanyang kasalukuyang lugar sa kuwento ng pelikula ay isang bagay rin na puwedeng pagmulan ng diskusyon. Marami sa mga taong naninirahan doon ay magkakakilala, hindi ubra na umutot ka na hindi nila malalaman o “maaamoy”. Tila totoo ang kasabihang Pinoy na “may tainga ang lupa, may pakpak ang balita”. Madaling nalaman ng buong baranggay ang pagiging anak-dalita ni Malena, ang kanyang pagiging kalaguyo na umabot sa korte ang usapin, pati na ang kanyang pagiging biyuda (dahil agad natapos ang role ni Lt. Scordia na hindi man lamang naipapakita kung sino siya at kung ano ang kaya niyang gampanan sa pelikula). Dumating ang mga kalalakihan upang “makiramay”, ngunit hindi naman talaga ito ang pakay nila. Kanya-kanya sila ng alok, pati na si Ernesto ay nakidamay na rin. Pero iba ang dating ng kanyang (ni Ernesto) kilos, naging matured kaagad siya sa pelikula. Maging si Malena ay napilitan nang “mag-iba” ng direksiyon o pagtingin sa buhay (yung pagputol niya ng kanyang mahabang buhok), dahil naisip niyang wala nang kakalinga sa kanya. Kung noong una’y pinagpapantasyahan niya si Malena, biglang nag-iba ang kanyang pagtingin, humahanga na siya rito o “umiibig”(?!). Buong ingat na nailagay ang mga eksenang hindi angkop sa panlasa ng mga bata, lumabas na hindi naging laruan ang babaing bida at hindi siya nasalaula sa nasabing pelikula. Hindi ito katulad ng usapin tungkol sa demanda ni Abby Viduya (a.k.a Priscilla Almeda) na di-umano’y ginamit ang kanyang katawan ng Seiko Films upang kumita ang kanilang mga pelikula. Narito sa gawing ibaba ang ilang paghahambing:

Malena ibang kababaihan (sabi nila kay malena)
- maganda - maganda rin
- pustoryosa - di marunong mag-ayos/nang-aakit
- makinis ang balat - maarte, mapera
- seksi - malandi
- habulin ng mga lalaki - pokpok
- balo - naghahanap ng bagong kandungan

Ang ilang mga nabanggit na katotohanan ay sumasalamin sa kung anong uri ng lipunan mayroon tayo; mapag-imbot, mainggitin at makasarili. Hindi nito kinalulugdan ang makakita ng iba na umuunlad o gumaganda ang buhay, maging ang pagkatao. Sa gawing hulihan ng kuwento na kung saan mas maraming tao ang nadadawit sa pangalan ni Malena (abogado, dentista, sundalo), binansagan siyang “puta” ng mga kababaihan, lalo na nang wala na siyang makain, napilitan na siyang “kumapit sa patalim” para lamang mabuhay. Dumating din ang isang pagkakataon na pati mga “kalaban” nilang mga Aleman ay pinatulan na niya, upang hindi magutom, lalo pang nagging kumplikado ang usapin sa buhay ni Malena. Isang malungkot na tagpo ay nang si Malena ay hubaran, saktan, alipustahin, murahin at kulang na lamang ay patayin nang matalo at mapaalis na ang mga mananakop (na mga Aleman) sa kanilang lugar. Marahil naisip ng mga kababaihan na makakaganti na sila kay Malena, kapag pangit na siya, wala nang magkakagusto sa kanya. Ilang tanong din, ano ang ginawa ng kanilang lugar sa tulad niya na balo, walang hanapbuhay? Bakit walang ginawa ang mga kalalakihan? Dahil ba sa pinagsawaan na nila sa kanilang isipan ang kaakit-akit na katawan ni Malena? Hindi ako magtataka kung bakit walang ginawa si Ernesto dahil sa dalawang (2) kadahilanan, una, dahil bata pa siya at hindi niya kakayanin ang kuyugin ng sandamakmak na mga kababaihan. Ang karutin ka ng isang babae ay masakit na, ano pa kaya kung marami silang gagawa nito? Pangalawa, ang pagkakataong maiugnay siya o ang kanyang pamilya kay Malena, na siya’y sabihan na kumakampi sa isang “pokpok”. Na magmistula siyang “knight in shining armor” effect. Ngunit ano ba ang depinisyon ng salitang “pokpok”? Sang-ayon sa ay salitang “pokpok” ay may dalawang pakahulugan, una, a slutty girl (taken from Tagalog slang). “A pokpok is a girl that wears glass heels”. At pangalawa, prostitution; could also mean bonking the person on the head. Alin man sa dalawang pakahulugan ang ating gamitin, hindi pa rin ito sasapat na gawing isang malaking usapin ang pagiging “pokpok”, kung hindi rin naman alam ang malinaw at malalim na kadahilanan. Isa pang tanong, bakit sa mga babae lamang pilit na iniuugnay ang salitang “pokpok”? hindi ba ubra rin ito sa mga lalaki? Hindi ba nagpapakita lamang ito ng mababang pagtingin sa mga taong ganito ang paraan ng pamumuhay lalo’t higit ang mga babae at mga batang nagiging biktima nito? Ano ang pagtugon ng ating pamahalaan? Ng ating mga simbahan? Tayong mga indibidwal? Ano ang ibinibigay natin sa kanila? Pang-unawa ba o pang-uuyam?

Submitted by: Submitted to:
Joey Y. Cunanan Prof. Lizette Tapia-Raquel
M. Div. III Professor

(ang pampagising)

Maganda ang naging takbo ng kuwento dahil sa kabuuan nito, ay nagsilbing tulay ng pampagising ang tsokolate. Sino ba naman ang tatanggi sa isang pagkain na masarap, lalo na’t ito’y libre. Noong una ay naisip kong may “gayuma” ang pagkaing ito, na tila isang balakid o pahirap sa tao ngunit habang tumatagal ay mas nakita ko ang pakinabang nito nang magising sa katotohanan ang mga tao sa kanilang hindi tumpak na pananaw o pagtingin sa isang tao. Kung minsan, kailangan natin ng mga pampagising, upang maitumpak tayo sa maling nating pananaw, tao, bagay, pangyayari ang ilan sa mga nagiging kasangkapan upang ito’y maisakatuparan. Ang naging reaksiyon ng punong- bayan o mayor sa pagkakaroon ng bagong mukha sa kanilang lugar ay hindi nab ago o kakatuwa. Madalas itong ginagaw ng mga taong walang tiwala sa iba, dito pumapasok ang kasabihang “galit ang magnanakaw sa kapwa magnanakaw”. Pero hindi naman magnanakaw o isang masamang tao ang bagong mukha sa kanilang lugar. Ang nakakalungkot din ay ang bilis nating humusga sa isang taong minsan pa lamang natin nakita o nakilala. Sa pelikulang ito, nagising ang mga tao sa kanilang matagal na “pagkakahimbing”, maging ang pangunahing tauhan ay nagising ang kanyang pagkababae, ang kanyang buong pagkatao.

Kung ako ang tatanungin kung sino sa dalawang pangunahing tauhan (si Meyor ba o yung bidang nanay), mas pipiliin ko yung bidang nanay. Sapagkat marami siyang ginawang nararapat sa kanilang lugar na hindi tinangkang gawin o ipinagkibit balikat lamang ni Meyor ang gayung bagay. Una, ang pagiging palakaibigan, ang pagkakaalam ko sa mga banyaga, hindi sila palakibo (katulad ng bayaw kong foreigner), kung hindi mo kausapin, hindi ka papansinin. Ito naman ang sinamantala ng bidang nanay, ang piliting magkaroon ng matatawag niyang “mga bagong kaibigan”, kahit na mali agad ang naging panghuhusga ng maraming mga tao sa kanyang ginagawa. Ganito talaga marahil ang takbo ng kaisipan ng isang matalinong tao, ang issue ng survival, pipiliting mabuhay kahit na tutol o hindi madalas umaayon sa kanya ang sitwasyon o pagkakataon. Sa ganitong kalagayan din ang issue ng adaptability, ang mga taong tulad nila na agad iniisip kung paano makakaagapay sa sitwasyong hindi niya kabisado. Maaari rin na sa kanilang pinanggalingang lugar ay ganito rin ang turing sa kanila na ginawan agad ng paraan ng matalinong nanay. Pangalawa, ang pagiging totoo sa sarili (na hindi ginawa ni Meyor), ang tanggapin at buong pusong aminin na nagkakamali tayo sa ating mga pagpapasya. Ito ang isang malaking hamon sa mga taong nagsasabi na sila ay kay Kristo, ang umamin sa mga pagkakamali at hindi ang ituro o isisi sa iba ang mga nagging kabiguan sa buhay. Maraming mga taong tulad nito, naglilinis-linisan o nagbait-baitan, pero ang totoo, mga plastic at mga manhid sa katotohanan. Ang pagiging totoo sa iba at sa sarili ay isang kahanga-hangang bagay, na kaya mong tanggapin at aminin kung sino at ano ka, tulad ng awiting “Banal na Aso, Santong Kabayo” na nauso noong dekada 90. nararapat marahil na magising na tayo sa katotohanan, na walang permanente sa mundong ito, lahat ay nagbabago at nababago ng mga sitwasyon at mga pangyayaring hindi natin hawak at wala tayong control. Ang kabuuan ng kuwento ay nagpakita rin kung saan “nagmula” ang tsokolate na ginamit ng bidang nanay upang makapagtayo siya ng mga “tulay” na nag-uugnay ng mga tao, at hindi ng “pader” na nagpapangkat o naghihiwalay ng tao sa kaniyang kapwa. Maganda rin sa nasabing pelikula ay ang unti-unting pagkamulat o pagkagising ng mga tao sa kanilang kinalalagyan. Ito rin ang kulang sa atin bilang mga Pilipino, ang pagiging “mulat”, na kung minsan kahit mga taong simbahan ay ayaw itong tanggapin, pilit sinusupil, pilit itinatago, pero hindi kayang ikubli. Ang tsokolate ay sinasabi rin ng mga mananaliksik na mainam na pampagising ng nahihimbing na diwa, at ganito ang naging partisipasyon ng tsokolate sa nasabing kuwento. Unti-unti nitong ginising ang mga matagal nang nahihimbing na kamalayan ng mga tao. Sa ating buhay bilang mga indibidwal, nararapat tayong maging mga “tsokolat” ng ating lipunan, walang pinipili, at hindi namimilit.

Submitted by: Submitted to:
Joey Y. Cunanan Prof. Lizette Tapia-Raquel
M. Div. III Professor

(Theologizing without the Bible)

Ano ang aking teolohiya hinggil sa bagay na ito? Simple lang, isang bagay na kung tawagin ay “upuan”. Ito ang madalas nating ginagamit kapag ngawit na tayo sa pagkakatayo o kapag napagod sa haba at tagal ng inilakad. Ang upuan din ang nagsisilbi nating leeway kapag ayaw na nating gumawa o magtrabaho, katulad ng sa mga magsasaka ng kantang “Magtanim ay Di Biro”, kapag ngatal ka na sa paggawa o tila unti-unting nilalamon na ng pagkamanhid ang buo mong pagkatao dahil nabuhos ang iyong isip sa paggawa, bakit hindi maupo nang makapagpahinga, kahit kaunti. May ganito ring kanta si Florante sa aking pagkakatanda (at kung hindi pa pumupurol ang aking memorya), na naglalaman ng mga linyang tulad nito, “……..ako’y labis na nag-aalala, baka marami ang magunahan makuha lang ang aking upuan..…….”. Ang upuan ding ito ay tumutukoy sa posisyon, antas o kinalalagyan ng isang tao, indibidwal o grupo. Kapag “nasa mataas na upuan”, ang ibig lang sabihin nito ay may sinasabi dahil sa mataas na uri ng pamumuhay (mayaman, makapangyarihan). Kapag sinuri mo ang isang upuan, marami nang umupo rito at marami na rin itong napagsilbihan, bagaman may ilang mga o tao na sa halip na pangalagaan o ingatan ay may gana pang manira ng hindi nila pag-aari. Ganito rin ang kalagayan natin bilang mga tao, sinisira natin ang isang bagay na hindi natin pag-aari at kung puwede pa nga ay huwag nang pakinabangan ng ibang tao. Katulad sa isang kainan, restaurant o maging sa loob ng pamamahay, iba ang pakiramdam kapag nakaupo habang kumakain, bagaman may mga taong convenient na kumain habang nakatayo, mas mainam pa rin ang nakaupo ka at the same time ay pinaglilingkuran ka pa! kahit saan ka magpunta at tumingin, hindi ubra sa isang bahay, tanggapan, simbahan, paaralan ang walang upuan, at kung minsan din may mga iba’t ibang hitsura ng mga upuan. Iba ang upuan sa loob ng bahay kumpara sa loob ng isang opisina o tanggapan, sa simbahan, sa paaralan, kung bakit ito magkakaiba ay dahil iba-iba ang gumagamit (who) nito at iba-iba rin ang paraan (how) ng paggamit nito.

(Ruth 1)

Kilala na natin ang karakter na ito, isang babeng Moabita, manugang ni Naomi at bilas ni Ruth. Kung bakit ko pinili ko ang kuwento niya dahil sa ilang mga bagay; una, ang kanyang pagiging totoong tao, hindi nagkukuwanri o nagbabalat-kayo sa kanyang damdamin o saloobin. Hindi lingid sa atin ang nangyari kina Elimelech at Naomi noong sila ay lumipat sa lupain ng Moab sapagkat nagkaroon ng taggutom sa kanilang pinanggalingang lugar. At ang pagkakaroon ng taggutom ay hindi na bago, maging ang issue ng migration ay nagaganap sa buhay ng maraming nilalang. Noong dekada 60, nauso ang migration ng mga Pinoy sa US at sinubukang makipagsapalaran kung may posibilidad na mamuhay at may ilang nagtagumpay at nabigo, at hindi na rin bago sa atin ang issue ng tagumpay at kabiguan. Ngunit nais kong tingnan muna natin ang issue ng migration sa nasabing kuwento, isang buong pamilya silang nagtungo ng Moab, marahil doon na nakita nina Mahalon at Quilion ang kanilang mga naging kabiyak, ngunit sa hindi maipaliwanag na dahilan ay doon pa sila inabutan ng kamatayan, sa lupaing hindi pamilyar sa kanila at hindi kanila. Hindi rin naipaliwanag sa atin kung bakit hindi sila nagkaanak sa itinatagal-tagal ng kanilang pagsasama (ipagpalagay nating ganun nga). Si Orpah ay isang uri ng babae na hindi basta-basta magpapadaig, ngunit mapagmahal. Sa aking obserbasyon, nais ni Orpah na bumukod sa kanyang mga biyenan, ngunit hindi pumayag (marahil) ang kanyang asawa, mas pinili ng kanyang asawa na manatili sa poder ng kanyang mga magulang. Ito ang pinagmulan ng kanilang di pagkakaunawaan, at siyempre kapag kapisan ang mga magulang ang mga anak na hindi pa nagsasarili, mas madalas ang impluwensiya ng magulang sa anak o dili kaya’y sa manugang (pero mas nakahihigit ang pagkiling sa anak). Madalas na humihingi ng payo ang kanyang asawa sa mga magulang nito na isa sa mga inayawan ni Orpah. May pagkakataon din na nagtatalo sila at kapag nakakausap ng mga biyenan ay tila mas kinakampihan pa ang anak na lalaki. Lalo lang nadagdagan ang hinanakit niya sa asawa. Nakita rin niya kung paano sumunod ang kanyang biyenang babae sa asawa nito, walang pagtutol. Dumating pa si Ruth, na animo’y kinakampihan din ng mga biyenan. Nang pumanaw na ang kanyang asawa, tila nabunutan na siya ng tinik, kung siya man ay lumuha sa pagpanaw ng kanyang biyenang lalaki, asawa at bayaw (asawa ni Ruth), siya lamang ang nakakaalam nito. Isang araw, kinausap sila ng kanilang biyenang babae at sinabihang magsibalik na sa kanilang pamilya, noong una’y bantulot siya, ngunit nang tila napansin niya na tila walang interes sa kanyang paliwanag ang kanyang biyenan, bumalik siya sa kanyang sariling pamilya. Pangalawa, ang kanyang pangangatwiran (sa tama), na hindi dapat mawala, kundi nararapat praktisin kapag may pagkakataon. Ang kanyang pangangatwiran sa asawa, mga biyenan ay nagpapakita na hindi niya ibig ang isang relasyong mapanikil, kundi yung samahan na may kalayaan, kalayaang mag-isip, magpasya at manindigan sa kung ano ang iniisip na wasto at nasa katuwiran. Maraming mga babae ang basta na lamang tumatahimik kapag napagsasabihan, siguro para hindi na lumaki pa ang usapan o para agad pahupain ang tensiyon. Ngunit hindi ba mas angkop kung haharapin ang tensiyon at doon din (sa tensiyon) kumuha ng kasagutan? At kapag lalong nasikil ay higit pa ang pagpupumiglas, upang makalaya, upang maipabatid na may kabuluhan sila sa lipunan at may dignidad ang kanilang pagkatao (tulad ng pelikulang “Dekada 70” at “Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa?” na parehong isinulat ni Lualhati Bautista at parehong pinagbidahan ni Vilma Santos). Isang kanta ang nais kong paglaanan ng repleksiyon, at ito ay ang kantang babae. Narito ang buong lyrics ng “Babae”:

Inang Laya
Kayo ba ang mga Maria Clara, mga Hule at mga Sisa
Na di marunong na lumaban, kaapiha’y bakit iniluluha
Mga babae, kayo ba’y sadyang mahina?

Kayo ba ang mga Cinderella, na ang lalaki ang tanging pag-asa
Kayo nga ba ang mga Nena, na hanapbuhay ang pagpuputa
Mga babae, kayo ba’y sadyang pangkama?

Ang ating isip ay buksan at lipuna’y pag-aralan
Pa’no nahubog inyong isipan at tanggaping kayo’y mga libangan
Mga babae, ito nga ba’y kapalaran?
Bakit ba mayroong mga Gabriela, mga Teresa at Tandang Sora
Na di umasa sa luha’t awa, sila’y nagsipaghawak ng sandata
Nakilaban, ang mithiin ay lumaya

Bakit ba mayroong mga Lisa, mga Liliosa at mga Lorena
Na di natakot makibaka, at ngayo’y marami ang kasama
Mga babae, ang mithiin ay lumaya

Ang ating isip ay buksan at lipuna’y pag-aralan
Pa’no nahubog inyong isipan at tanggaping kayo’y mga libangan
Mga babae, ito nga ba’y kapalaran?

Bakit ba mayroong mga Lisa, mga Liliosa at mga Lorena
Na di natakot makibaka, at ngayo’y marami ang kasama
Mga babae, ang mithiin ay lumaya

Mga babae, ang mithiin ay lumaya.

Sa kanta, nabanggit ang mga sumusunod na Filipina bilang modelo ng mga babaeng lumaban:
Maria Josefa Gabriela Carino Silang (March 19, 1731 - September 29, 1763) - Pinamunuan niya ang paghihimagsik ng Ilokos laban sa mga mananakop na Kastila matapos pagtaksilan ng mga kaibigan at mapaslang ang dating lider, ang kanyang kabiyak na si Diego Silang.
Teresa Ferraris Magbanua (October 13, 18763 - August 1947) - Filipinang namuno sa mga sundalo nong Digmaang Pilipino-Amerikano. Sumuko siya noong 1900. Noong panahon ng pananakop ng mg Hapones, ibinenta niya ang kanyang mga ari-arian upang suportahan ang mga gerilyang Pilipino.
Melchora Aquino (January 6, 1812 – March 2, 1919) - Sino’ng hindi nakakakilala kay Tandang Sora, ang Ina ng Katipunan? Kinupkop niya ang mga sugatang Katipunero at ang tahanan niya’y naging hideout nila. Nang malaman ng mga Kastila ang kanyang mga ginagawa, ipinatapon nila siya sa Marianas. Nakabalik siya sa Pilipinas noong 1898.
Lisa Balando - Isang probinsiyanang naging organizer ng mga manggagawa noong panahon ng diktaturyang Marcos. Pinamunuan niya ang kauna-unahang welga sa Rossini’s Knitwear and Winter Garments sa Caloocan. Dumalo siya sa mga martsa’t demonstrasyon ng mga manggagawa. Isa siya sa mga napatay nang pagbabariln ng mga ahente ng rehimeng Marcos ang mga manggagawang nag-rally noong Mayo 1, 1971.
Liliosa Hilao - patnugot ng Hasik, ang pahayagan ng mga mag-aaral ng Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila; kasapi ng Kabataang Makabayan at College Editors Guild of the Philippines; at kandidato sa pagka-summa cum laude. Isa siya sa mga unang dinakip at pinaslang matapos ideklara ang Batas Militar. Ginahasa siya at namatay sa kulungan sa kamay ng mga militar.
Ma. Lorena Barros - aktibista, makata at mag-aaral ng anthropology sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, naging founding chair siya ng Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan noong panahon ng First Quarter Storm. Naging gerilya siya ng New People’s Army at namatay sa laban noong March 24, 1976.

At dito ako magtatapos, ang isang babae ay nilalang na may kahulugan at may kabuluhan, kung kaya nararapat na magsalita ang babae kung kinakailangan at kung nasa katwiran din naman bakit hindi sabihin ang saloobin? At kung bakit patuloy pa rin ang mga babae sa pagiging tahimik nila, na tila may busal ang kanilang mga bibig ay sapagkat may mga babae rin na humahadlang sa kanila, may mga babae rin na pumapayag na kontrolin ang kanilang buhay ng ibang tao at higit sa lahat, may mga lalaking animo’y napakagagaling, na tila hindi mo na kukuwestiyunin ang kanilang kakayahan, nga lamang ay walang paninindigan. Palayain ang mga kababaihan, huwag silang ikulong tulad ng mga ibon sa hawla, o ng mga mababangis na hayop sa zoo, tao sila, tulad natin, hindi laruan, tropeyo, medalya, dekorasyon o kung ano pa mang bagay.


Ano nga ba ang ibig tukuyin nito? Una, maliban sa ito ay tumutukoy sa karahasan laban sa mga kababaihan (at mga bata), ito rin ay tahasang pagyurak sa kanilang karapatan na maging malaya at kapaki-pakinabang sa kanilang ginagalawang lugar at lipunan. Karahasang ramdam hindi lamang ng mga kababaihan, kundi lalo’t higit ng mga batang walang (tuwirang) kinalaman sa ganitong suliranin. Ngunit ito ang malungkot na nangyayari, ito ang katotohanang nakakubli sa likod ng naglalakihang mga istraktura, sa likod ng mga ngiting mapapait, maging sa mga komersiyal na mapanlinlang ay makikita at mararamdaman ito (kung hindi ka manhid). Sa ganitong tagpo ay nais kong gamitin ang ilang mga pananalitang hiram o banyaga sa pagtalakay ko sa nasabing paksa. The cultures of the first century treated women more like objects than as human beings. “In Greek civilization the duty of the woman was “to remain indoors and to be obedient to her husband.’ It was the sign of a good woman that she must see as little, hear as little and ask as little as possible. She had no kind of independent existence and no kind of mind of her own, and her husband could divorce her almost at caprice…” “Under the Roman law a woman had no rights. In law she remained for ever a child. When she was under her father she was under the patria potestas, the father’s power, which gave the father the right even of life and death over her; and when she married she passed equally into the power of her husband. “She was entirely subject to her husband and completely at his mercy. Cato the Censor, the typical ancient Roman wrote: “If you were to catch your wife in an act of infidelity, you can kill her with impunity without a trial’” (William Barclay, The Daily Study Bible Series, 1976, Vol. 14). Standards of the Roman world discriminated against women in other ways too. “Compared with the modern woman in today’s Western society, the Roman woman had little or no property rights. Goods or money that she could legally inherit were legally limited. She was not even allowed to leave money to her children if they were under her husband’s patria potestas” (Alvin Schmidt, How Christianity Changed the World, 2004, p. 101). In the first century, Judaism had drifted considerably from the pure practice of the religious principles of the Old Testament, which protected the rights of women. Thus in Jesus’ day, Judaism looked down on women. For example, the testimony of Jewish women was generally considered worthless, so they were generally not allowed to testify in court. This discrimination about speaking worked in reverse too. Women were not thought worthy to receive spiritual instruction. “Let the words of the Law (Torah) be burned rather that committed to a woman… If a man teaches his daughter the Law, it is though he taught her lechery” (Schmidt, p. 102). The most vulnerable human beings in a society are its infants and young children. Treatment of the young could be brutal and cold-hearted in Greco-Roman society, “infants were killed for various reasons. Those born deformed or physically frail were especially prone to being wilfully killed, often by drowning… Infant girls were especially vulnerable. For instance, in ancient Greece it was rare for even a wealthy family to raise more than one daughter” (Schmidt, p.49). In Roman culture, “a wealthy father might decide to dispose of an infant because of the desire not to divide the family property among too many offspring and thereby reduce the individual wealth of the members of the next generation” (Sarah Pomeroy, Goddesses, Whore, Wives and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity, 1975, p. 165). Equally cruel was the practice of abandoning infants. “If unwanted children in the Greco-Roman world were not directly killed, they were frequently abandoned-tossed away, so to speak. In the city of Rome, for instance, undesirable infants were abandoned at the base of the Columna Lactaria, so named because this was the place the state provided for wet nurses to feed some of the abandoned children” (Schmidt, p.52). Infanticide and child abandonment did not exist among Jews of the first century. Author Max Dimont shows us the contrast: “The grateful Greeks laughed at the ‘graceless’ Jew for recoiling in horror at the Greek custom of exposing an infant to death when the shape of its skull or nose did not please them” (Max Dimont, Jews, God and History, 1994, p. 108). Sa madaling pag-aanalisa, makikita natin kung paano ang ginagawang pagtrato sa mga kababaihan at mga bata noong sinaunang panahon. Ang kulturang ito ng karahasan ay magpapatuloy at magpapaikot-ikot lamang ito tulad ng isang gulong kapag wala tayong ginawang hakbang o pagkilos upang ito ay masawata, kung hindi man tuluyang mawala sa ating kultura at pagkatao. Dito nararapat na kumilos agad ang simbahan, huwag magtulug-tulugan. Sayang ang maraming mga tinig ng mga kababaihan at mga batang naging biktima ng kawalang pagkilos ng simbahan at ng mga taong nakapaloob dito.

(isang pagpapasya)

Sa isang bahagi ng El Filibusterismo at Noli Me Tangere ni Jose Rizal, binanggit ang kuwento tungkol sa isang babae, anak at nanay na si Sisa. Hindi malinaw sa atin kung bakit bigla siyang lumitaw sa nasabing mga aklat. Gayundin kung ano ang naging bahagi niya sa buhay ni Crisostomo Ibarra, bakit naging ganon ang kanyang naging kalagayan (nawala ang sariling katinuan). Ang malinaw lang na sinabi ay ang tungkol sa pagkawala ng kanyang mga anak (Basilio at Crispin) na kapwa sakristan ng kanilang simbahan. Si Sisa ay larawan ng isang matiising ina (dahil ang kanyang mabait na asawa ay sugapa sa alak), mapagkalinga sa mga anak (dahil napagbintangan na nagnakaw sa simbahan subalit wala namang ebidensiya), masunurin at masipag sa pananampalataya. Ngunit isang araw, bigla na lamang siyang namatay dahil diumano’y tumalon sa ituktok ng simbahan. Bakit kaya ganoon ang nangyari sa kanya? Ano kaya ang nagtulak sa babaeng ito upang sa ganoong tagpo ay hayaan niyang mawakasan ang kanyang buhay? Naniniwala ako na si Sisa ay biktima ng pang-aabuso, ng kanyang asawa, ng kanilang lipunan, ng simbahan at ng pagkakataon. Paano siya naging biktima ng kanyang asawa? Madaling ituro na ang kanyang asawang lalaki ang nagtulak upang magtrabaho ang mga anak nilang sina Basilio at Crispin, na alam nating nararapat sa mga silid-aralan upang doon matuto. Sa halip na sila ay nagsisipag-aral, mas pinili nila ang maging tagapagpatunog ng kampanaryo kapag may misa, may panauhin o dili kaya ay may kalamidad na nagaganap. Inaabuso rin si Sisa ng kanilang lipunan, dahil wala siyang hanapbuhay, naniniwala ako na kahit ang pagiging labandera ay ginawa ni Sisa, na ito’y hindi na bago sa ating kapanahunan. Maraming mga kababaihan na ngayon ang nakikipagsapalaran sa ibayong dagat dahil sa hirap ng buhay dito sa ating bansa at bunga na rin ng kapabayaan ng kani-kanilang mga kabiyak. Ito ba ang sinasabi ng sinumpaang salaysay ng kanilang matrimonyo ” sa hirap at ginhawa”?. Sa halip na maghanap ng trabaho ang asawang lalake, sa kanilang asawang babae ito ipinapasa. Malungkot din na malaman na maraming mga lalake ang tingin sa kanilang mga asawang babae ay mga palahiang hayop, mga tropeo na hindi nararapat ilabas ng kuwarto, mga dekorasyon sa kanilang bahay, kung minsan din ay pinapahintulutan pa na bastusin ng kanilang mga kasama sa inuman. Kapag ang isang lalake ay nangaliwa o naghanap ng ibang kandungan o nambabae, tinatanggap ito ng ating lipunan, bakit kapag ang babae ang nanlalake, masama ang pagtingin. Kapag nahuli ang babae na may kinakasama, agad gumagawa ng marahas na hakbang (pagpatay, bagaman hindi sa pangkalahatan). Bakit kapag ang lalake ang nahuli, mabilis niyang naipagtatanggol at napagtatakpan ang sarili? Ito ba ang sinasabi ng ating saligang batas na pantay-pantay na pagtingin? Nasaan ngayon ang katarungan para sa babaeng tulad nila? Inabuso rin si Sisa ng kanyang pananampalataya, masyado siyang inaba ng mga taong simbahan dahil sa paniniwala na instrumento at isinugo sila ng Diyos. Naniniwala ako na ginahasa siya dahil nawala na siya sa kanyang katinuan, maliban pa sa katotohanan na hindi na mailabas pa ang kanyang anak na pinagbintangan na nagnakaw ng pera. Ito rin ang aking personal na opinyon, ang dahilan ng kanyang “pagpapakamatay” ay upang mawakasan na ang kanyang paghihirap, matigil na ang kahihiyan na dulot ng maling paratang sa kanyang mga anak, ang makumpleto na ang pagpapakasasa ng kanyang asawang lalake sa kaniyang bisyo. Dahil wala nang katarungan pa na nababanaag itong si Sisa, mas pinili niya ang mas masakit at mas mahirap na pagpapasya. Hindi kaya ganito rin ang dahilan ng marami nating mga OFW (na kababaihan) na “nagpapakamatay” o kung buhay man ay wala na sa sariling katinuan at wala na ring pamilyang babalikan dahil hindi binigyang pagpapahalaga ng ating pamahalaan at mga simbahan ang kanilang pagsasakripisyo at mga paghihirap na tiniis. Kung palagiang ganito ang ating tingin sa mga OFW’s na parang mga “gatasang baka” na hindi pinapastulan nang maayos, walang kahihinatnan ang lahat.

Ipinasa ni : Ipinasa kay:
Joey Y. Cunanan Prop. Lizette Tapia-Raquel


Si Maria Madlangawa ay malapit na kaibigan ni Conrado Opelo dahil pareho sila ng paaralang pinagtapusan, ang Colegio de San Antonio. Ito ay matatagpuan sa maliit na bayan ng San Ignacio, lalawigan ng Batangas. Malayo ang agwat ng mga edad nila, wala naming namumuong mas malalim na ugnayan sa kanila. Kilala si Conrado ng pamilya ni Maria dahil magkaibigang matalik ang kanilang mga tatay at ninang ni Maria ang nanay ni Conrado sa binyag. Si Maria ay miyembro ng choir sa kanilang simbahan, habang si Conrado naman ay masipag na sakristan ni Padre Almares na tubong Bautista, lalawigan naman ng Quezon. Madalas silang nakikitang nag-uusap pagkatapos ng praktis tungkol sa kanilang mga paglilingkod sa simbahan. Madalas na nag-aantay si Conrado kay Maria dahil maagang natatapos ang kanilang preparasyon kapag araw ng Sabado ng gabi. Sa grupo ng mga kabataang lalaki, panay ang kantiyaw nila kay Conrado kapag nakikita na nilang lumalapit na si Maria at gayundin ang inaabot ng huli sa grupo ng mga kabataang babae. Matipid na ngiti lamang ang iginaganti ni Conrado sa panunukso ng mga kasama. Ayaw din niyang patulan ang sulsol ng mga kaibigan upang ligawan si Maria dahil hanggang pagiging magkaibigan lamang ang kanyang damdamin. Nagpatuloy ang kanilang magandang samahan kahit palagi silang tinutukso at sinasabihan na ”bagay” silang dalawa, isang sakristan at isang miyembro ng choir. Hindi nagtagal, may dumating na bagong mukha sa kanilang lugar, si Orlando Cirilo, tubong San Cristobal, lalawigan ng Nueva Ecija. Ang tatay ni Orlando ay nagtatrabaho bilang bank manager ng Atlas National Bank, habang ang kanyang ina ay isang negosyante. Doon nalipat sina Orlando dahil nagbukas ng bagong sangay ang ANB at ang tatay niya ang ipinadala ng kumpanya upang mangasiwa. Hindi nahirapan lumipat ng matitirhan sina Orlando dahil may sarili silang sasakyan at siya’y solong anak. Matangkad nang kaunti si Orlando kay Conrado at siya rin ay miyembro ng choir sa kanilang lugar. Nag-aaral siya ng kursong Business Administration sa Nueva Ecija State University na ipinakuha ng kanyang tatay. Dahil uso na Open University, iang beses sa loob ng isang buwan siya kung pumasok at magsubmit ng mga requirements. Mahilig din siya sa basketball at katunayan nito ang ilang mga medalya na nakasabit sa mga dingding at mga tropeo na iginawad sa kanya na nakadisplay sa loo ng kanilang bahay. Nakatulong din ang internet upang makapagpadala siya agad ng sagot sa ilang mga assignments. Tahimik at ’di palakibo si Orlando. Isang araw ng linggo na silang mag-anak ay magsimba, tumayo lamang siya at kanyang mga magulang nang tawagin at ipakilala ni Padre Almares sa mga ibang nagsisimba. Napatingin si Conrado kay Maria na pinagmamasdan ang pamilya ni Orlando. Pagkatapos ng misa, sabay na umuwi muli sina Maria at Conrado, ngunit lingid sa kanilang kaalaman, nakapagtanong-tanong na pala si Orlando tungkol sa kanila. Habang masayang nagkukuwentuhan ang dalawa sa naging misa, iba na ang tingin ni Orlando kay Maria, labis siyang nagandahan. Isang araw, nagulat si Maria nang sabayan siya sa paglalakad ni Orlando dahil nautusan siyang mamalengke ng kanyang nanay. Nag-umpisa na sa pagpapakilala si Orlando at pag-alam sa pamilya ni Maria. Kahit medyo naasiwa sa ginawa ni Orlando, hindi nagpahalata si Maria. Inihatid pa ni Orlando si Maria hanggang sa gate ng kanilang bahay at hiniling na malaman ang cellphone number. Labis na nagtaka si Maria sa bilis ng mga pangyayari at naikuwento niya ito kay Conrado noong Sabado ng gabi habang naglalakad pauwi. Nang marinig ni Conrado ang tungkol sa pagiging “mabilis” ni Orlando, pinayuhan niya ang kaibigan na mag-ingat at baka makaapekto sa pagiging magkaibigan nila. Hindi nga nagkamali si Conrado. Walang araw o oras na sinasayang si Orlando lalo na kapag hindi siya lumuluwas ng Nueva Ecija. Palagi niyang dinadalaw si Maria at laking gulat ng lahat nang mapasama na rin siya sa choir ng simbahan. Hindi na naman nakaligtas sa kantiyaw ng mga kabataang lalake si Conrado na walang ginagawa sa panliligaw ni Orlando. Matatag pa rin ang sagot niya na magkaibigan sila ni Maria at walang anumang pagseselos o hinanakit lalo na’t hindi na sumasabay sa kanya sa pag-uwi pagkatapos ng choir practice. Makalipas ang ilang linggo, dumating ang kaarawan ni Conrado at inanyayahan niya si Maria na pumunta sa kanilang bahay. Tinanggap ni Maria ang paanyaya, ngunit sa hindi maipaliwanag na dahilan ay nagpadala ng text na “hindi ako makakadalo”. Labis na nagtaka si Conrado sa nabasang mensahe at hindi na siya kumibo pa nang tanungin ng mga magulang tungkol sa hindi pagpunta ni Maria. Natapos ang kaarawan ni Conrado at makalipas ang ilang araw, nagkita sila ni Maria. Napansin niya ang humumpak na pisngi at bakas ang kalungkutan sa mukha ng kaibigan. Hindi na niya naiwasang magtanong sa nangyayari, at doon niya nalaman na sinagot na pala ni Maria si Orlando. Panay daw ang panunuyo ni Orlando at padala ng mga inspirational messages kapag nag-text sa kanya. Nalungkot si Conrado sa nakita at lalong nadagdagan pa nang malaman na sobrang seloso si Orlando. Pinakiusapan ni Maria na mag-iwasan muna sila dahil minsan na siyang pinagsabihan ni Orlando nang may nagbiro na kasama nila sa choir. Bantulot man na sundin ang pakiusap ng kaibigan, pumayag si Conrado. Matapos ang kanilang pag-uusap, nagpasiya na si Conrado na umiwas kay Maria, ngunit sa nagtatalo ang kanyang kalooban. Paano mangyayari ang hinihiling ng kaibigan na mag-iwasan sila kung pareho silang naglilingkod sa simbahan? Isang araw, isang linggo, isang buwan, mabilis na lumipas ang panahon, medyo nasanay na rin si Conrado na umuwing mag-isa lalo na kapag iniiwan ng mga kabataang lalake at pinapauna na niya ang mga ito. Nang minsang nagdarasal bago matulog, labis siyang nagtaka kung bakit biglang sumagi sa isipan si Maria, ano na ang balita sa kanya. Dahil sa nangyari, hindi siya gaanong napagkatulog. Kinabukasan, nagpasya si Conrado na dalawin si Maria sa kanilang bahay. Nabigla si Conrado nang malaman sa kapitbahay nina Maria na nasa ospital ito dahil namayat nang husto at hindi kumakain. Dali-daling nagtungo ng ospital si Conrado, at nasalubong niya ang nanay ni Maria at nagsabi na nag-iisa ito sa kuwarto nito at kailangang bumili ng gamot sa labas ng ospital dahil naubusan ng supply. Matapos makapagtanong kung saan ang kuwarto ng kaibigan, nagtungo siya agad. Nang bubuksan na niya ang pinto, narinig niyang kinakausap ni Orlando si Maria. Pinapagalitan niya ang maysakit dahil sa nangyari, kaya natigilan siya. ”Kailangan pa ba niyang kumustahin ang kaibigan?” tanong sa sarili. ”Kung sobrang seloso ang nobyo niya at ayaw na makikitang nakikipag-usap sa kung sinu-sinong lalaki, dapat ko pa rin ba siyang dalawin?” Alin ba ang higit na matimbang, ang pakiusap o ang pakikipag-kaibigan? Kung kayo ang tatanungin, ano ang dapat gawin ni Conrado? Ni Maria? Ni Orlando?

Paunawa: (lahat ng pangalan ng mga tauhan, lugar at iba pa ay pawing mga kathang isip lamang, anumang pagkakahawig ay hindi sinasadya ng sumulat)

2 SAMUEL 3:11

Ang Biblia ay naglalahad ng isang kuwento tungkol sa isang babaing nagngangalang Rizpah. Siya ay servant-wife ni Haring Saul (isa sa mga asawa), anak ni Aya, at interesado sa kanya si Ishboseth (anak din ni Haring Saul). Hindi malinaw na sinabi ng kasulatan kung bakit ganoon na lamang ang interes ni Ishboseth kay Rizpah. Marahil noong una pa lamang niyang nakita ang babaing ito, biglang ”tumibok” ang kanyang puso, at naniniwala akong hindi tuod si Ishboseth na makadama ng ganoong damdamin sa isang hindi niya kapareho ng kasarian. Araw-araw marahil nagpupunta si Ishboseth sa bahay nina Rizpah at doon niya ito sinusuyo. Sa madaling salita nanligaw si Ishboseth kay Rizpah, ngunit hindi siya ”type” nito. Ngunit ang malungkot na katotohanan ay walang nangyari sa kanyang paglalahad ng damdamin, dahil si Rizpah, katulad ng iba bang mga kababaihan ay maaaring kunin ng kanyang tatay ”any time of the day” upang gawing asawa. Dito naunsiyami lalo ang pagtingin ni Ishboseth nang malaman niyang makikita na niya araw-araw si Rizpah, hindi dahil sinagot na siya nito, kundi dahil doon na ito naninirahan sa palasyo bilang ”katulong” na asawa ng kanyang tatay. ”Sayang na pag-ibig” ang saloobin ni Ishboseth, ”kung nakinig lamang sana siya sa akin, kami dapat ang magkasama, hindi sila ng tatay ko”, dagdag pa sa isipan ni Ishboseth. Mula ng maging asawa ng kanyang tatay si Rizpah, nakikita niyang nagkakausap sina Abner (tauhan ni Haring Saul) at Rizpah, dito nagpasimula ang malikot niyang kaisipan, hanggang sa mapatay ang kanyang tatay at kapatid na si Jonatan. Isang araw, kinausap ni Ishboseth si Abner, dahil sa dami marahil ng kanilang pinagdiskusyunan, biglang inilihis ni Ishboseth ang usapin at nadako ito kay Rizpah. Parang isang malaking biro nang banggitin ni Ishboseth ang pangalan ni Rizpah kay Abner. Biglang nag-iba ang ihip ng hangin at tabas ng mukha ni Abner nang marinig ang pangalang Rizpah. Iniisip marahil ni Ishboseth na papatulan ni Abner ang kanyang sinabi, ngunit iba ang naging sagot ni Abner sa kanya, ”ano ako uto?! pinakinabangan na ng tatay mo, tapos ako ang makikinabang sa kaniya?”. ”Anong akala mo sa akin, aso na kayang kainin kahit sariling laman?!” dagdag pa niya. Nagulat si Ishboseth/Ishbaal sa naging reaksiyon ni Abner, akala niya marahil basta-basta kakagatin ng taong ito ang kanyang patutsada. Ilang bagay ang naisip kong dahilan kung bakit tinanggihan ni Abner si Rizpah, una, hindi niya type si Rizpah, kung ang pamantayan ay panlabas na kaanyuan. Hindi sinabi ng sumulat sa tagpong ito kung maganda si Rizpah, ipagpalagay na natin na hindi siya gaanong kagandahan, hindi marahil pumasa sa panlasa ni Abner si Rizpah. Pangalawa, nanatili ang delikadesa ni Abner sa kanyang sarili, hindi niya maatim na patulan ang isang babaing naging asawa ng kaniyang dating panginoon. Pangatlo, marahil may sariling pamilya si Abner at naramdaman niya ang sakit nang mawalan ng asawa at may maliliit na anak (marahil maraming naging anak si Saul kay Rizpah). Marahil nakita niya rin ang kaniyang nanay na labis na nasaktan nang mapatay ang tatay dahil sa isang labanan, at maliliit pa sila noong panahong iyon.

Ito ang aking reaksiyon, ginawang laruan o trophy ni Ishboseth/Ishbaal si Rizpah dahil nakahanda itong ”ipamigay” kay Abner. Hindi pinahalagahan ni Ishboseth/Ishbaal ang kalagayan ni Rizpah, wala na ngang kakalinga sa kaniya, isang balo, may mga anak, ipapamigay pa! Ganito ang kalakaran ng ating mundo na kung saan may mga taong ang tingin sa mga kababaihan ay parang mga laruan. Hanggat hindi nakakawala ang ating lipunan sa ganitong sitwasyon, hanggat may mga taong dahil sa kabiguan (sa pag-ibig) ay nananatiling mataas pa rin ang pride, hindi mababago ang kanilang mababang pagtingin sa mga kababaihan. Pangalawa, ang pagbintangan ang isang taong nakikipagrelasyon sa naging asawa ng kaniyang tatay, na wala naman siyang matibay na ebiensiya o batayan. Marami ang taong ganito, naniniwala sa maling akala o bali-balita. Sabi nga ng isa nating kasabihan: ”ang taong naniniwala sa sabi-sabi, walang bait sa sarili”. Maraming mga taong tulad ni Ishboseth/Ishbaal, kapag umiral ang panibugho, inggit o selos, napakadaling gumawa ng kuwento, napakadaling ”maglubid ng buhangin” (kasinungalingan). Pangatlo, nararapat na pahalagahan ang kalagayan ng mga babaing balo, at hindi nararapat na sila’y pagbintangan ng anumang walang batayang akusasyon. Napakarami nang mga kababaihang nagiging usapin ng mga lalaking nag-iisip na marumi sa kanila, lalong ibinababa ang kanilang abang kalagayan.

2 SAMUEL 21:1-14

Kinuha ang mga anak ni Rizpah na sina Armoni at Mefiboset, gayundin ang limang mga anak na lalaki ni Merab (anak ni Saul) ng mga Gabaonita. Ito ay binasbasan ni David at ang mga kalalakihang ito ay sama-samang pinatay sa bundok sa harapan ni Yahweh (tal.9). Pagkatapos patayin ang mga kalalakihang ito, umalis na ang mga Gabaonita na parang walang nangyari. Ni ha ni ho wala silang sinabi sa mga nanay ng mga pinatay nila. Kapansin-pansin din na mistulang ”malakas ang kapit” ng mga taong ito kay Yahweh dahil sa binanggit ni David ”idalangin kami na pagpalain ni Yahweh” (tal.3). Sino nga ba ang mga taong ito? At sinong ”Poncio Pilato” kaya ang nangako sa kanila na sila’y ililigtas? Binantayan ni Rizpah ang bangkay ng pitong kalalakihang ito, at kahit umuulan man o umaaraw, hindi siya umaalis doon. Naglagay din siya ng sakong panabing upang hindi siya mainitan, at itinataboy din niya ang mga buwitre na nagtatangkang kainin ang laman ng mga bangkay. Sa loob ng limang buwan, hindi siya umalis doon. Nasaan kaya si Merab? Sa aking palagay, naging daan ito upang maging malapit ang loob ng dalawang kababaihang ito. nagpapalitan sila ng pagbabantay sa mga bangkay ng kani-kanilang mga anak. May mga kababaihan din na nakisimpatiya sa kanila, pinalalakas ang kanilang loob at ipinagdadala sila ng pagkain araw-araw. Hindi naman doon natapos ang kuwento, kinuha ang bangkay ng mga kalalakihang ito, matapos na mabalitaan ni David ang nangyari kay Rizpah (at kay Merab). Nakakalungkot din na malaman na may isang ”pinuno” ng Diyos na walang malasakit sa damdamin ng mga kababaihan, na nawalan ng mga anak. Kung sabagay, sariling kapakanan lamang ang kanyang iniisip at inaalala, kung ano ang sasabihin ng Diyos (niya) at baka siya parusahan. Bakit ganoon ang nangyari? Naniniwala akong kasalanan ang mga anak nina Rizpah at Merab, ni wala silang kinalaman sa kasalanan ng kanilang lolo at tatay na si Saul. Bakit hindi nila kinuha ang mga buto ni Saul at dinurog na lang nila nang pinong-pino? Bakit ganoon ang nangyari? Walang ginawa si David upang ipagtanggol sina Rizpah (na isa sa naging asawa ng kaniyang biyenan na si Saul) at ang kaniyang hipag na si Merab. Siya ba manhid o kaya’y walang puso? Pero naniniwala tayo na napakahusay na pinuno ni David, ngunit kung ang basehan ay ang kaniyang pagsasawalang-kibo sa ginawang hakbang ng mga Gabaonita, lilitaw na siya’y duwag! sarili lamang ang kayang ipagtanggol. Iniwan niya sina Rizpah at Merab sa isang kalunos-lunos na kalagayan, ni hindi niya tinanong ang mga nanay ng mga pinatay, biyenan niya ang may pagkukulang, mga anak at mga apo ang nagbayad! Ano ito lokohan?! Kung ganoon din lamang at ibibigay niya ang mga kalalakihan sa pamilya ni Saul sa mga Gabaonita, sana isinama niya na rin ang anak ni Jonatan, para patas. Sayang at kahit sa panahon natin ngayon, may mga taong nakahandang isakripisyo ang iba, basta hindi sila gaanong maapektuhan. Ang mga kalalakihan dito ay mga biktima ng maling desisyon ng ibang tao, mga biktima ng sirkumstansiya (cirumstance). Marami pa rin ang mga kababaihan ang iniiwan ng mga taong inaakala nilang magtatanggol sa kanila. Ngunit may mga kababaihan pa rin na nakahandang damayan ang mga taong malapit sa kanilang puso (buhay man o patay), tulad nina Merab at Rizpah.

Joey Y. Cunanan Prof. Lizette Tapia-Raquel