Taboo Topics In the Philippines (And Why We Need To Discuss Them)

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“Taboo” a word that can be best amount to “abominable subject matter”. A taboo can encompass a lot of things. From things you would never do to things that you don’t even want to talk about. In our culture, I cannot help but notice that there are just too many taboo topics. Now, I know that some of these topics are indeed more than a little awkward when brought up but, we all have to remember, problems can only be solved when we discuss them and most certainly not when we sweep it under the rug and pretend they don’t exist.

And no, before you get the wrong idea, this article is not about incest. Well, at least not most of it. Oh well, just read on to understand what I’m talking about.

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Anyway, one of the biggest reasons problems like poverty, corruption, traffic and crime plague us to this very day not because we lack the faculties to address them but simply because we refuse to address them at all. It becomes hilarious when people even disguise their denial and delusion as “positive thinking” even though it is anything but positive. For instance, I do not think that thinking rabid dogs don’t exist will somehow miraculously make them cease to exist. Ladies and gentlemen, what I am saying here is that “positivity” isn’t just about “positive thinking” but also about “positive action”. This means that we need to acknowledge the negativity in our society first before we can turn them into something positive. Ignoring the negative aspects of the Philippines does nothing to actually address them and only sets them up into something much, much worse. Indeed, as an example, you can always deny that you have body odor but, when the air turns foul in your presence, how else can you explain it.

Anyway, here are three big taboo topics in the Philippines that I think we should discuss more:

Sex

Okay, nobody panic, I know what you’re probably thinking. Well yes, I can admit to actually being a pervert. I’m not going to be a hypocrite and pretend that I’m sort of saint. However, I am also aware of the fact that even perversion should have its limits. Unfortunately, because of our “pakipot” nature, we often sweep the topic of sex under the rug and pretend it doesn’t exist until it’s too late. Next thing you know, your son’s either a father or your daughter’s a mother.

Look, I know a lot of you will once again resort to the notion that our culture is different from that of western countries. However, that doesn’t really make what we do right either. Among many forward-thinking families in the United States, there is the “talk” that all parents have to go through with their children. Now it can be very awkward as some of my American friends have gone on to note, but they all know its necessity. It’s better, after all, to have a few hours of awkwardness than deal with a lifetime of regret because of an unplanned pregnancy.

Now, I want to make it clear that sex can be a very uncomfortable topic to discuss. However, it becomes hilarious when we actually demonize it even though it’s actually a part of who we are. By refusing to even acknowledge it, you get very awkward and often disastrous situations such as teen pregnancies or unfulfilled marriages because the couple never even took their sex life into account before they got married.

Death

Here’s another topic that often causes a considerable amount of awkward silences in Pinoy society. Much like sex mentioned above, death is another uncomfortable but unfortunately inevitable part of life. Sooner or later we will all have to face the inevitability of the grave but so many of us even refuse to acknowledge it.

I’m not saying that we should simply give up on life. All I’m trying to say is that we should remember that life is limited and that we should make the best of it. Just because life is short doesn’t mean it’s worthless. While I think that it is never too late for anyone to discover their purpose in life, I also think that the earlier it is discovered, the better.

As T.S. Elliot once said: “Life you may evade, death you shall not.”

More often than not, by refusing to accept the inevitability of death, we often forget to live our lives the way we should. As we lose ourselves in our effort to drown out death’s call, we neglect our purpose in life and live unfulfilled and unappreciated lives.

Crime

Here’s probably the worst of the bunch. And no, I’m not just talking about petty crimes that are committed regularly by Filipinos against their own countrymen but also the crimes committed by politicians against their own people as well as acts of terrorism. Why is it that so many of us know nothing of the our society’s ails even though we are all likely to be affected by it in some way?

As mentioned in one of my previous articles quite a while back, I once had a clinical instructor who could only gawk at me and shake her head dismissively when I asked her opinion about the poisoned goods China seems to be shipping our way. I can account that many of my American friends are well aware of the problem and that their government and other authorities are working on a solution to prevent any further incidents caused by products with toxic properties that come from China. If every other Filipino sees the world like my clinical instructor (you know: “If it has nothing to do with me, I don’t care“), then we really are doomed because majority of us won’t actually care about the problem until we’re all dying of super-rabies or something similar.

When asked serious questions about the state of the nation, majority of us (yes, even politicians), don’t even bother to think about the question itself as they find it stressful. But then again, don’t any of them realize that, unless we acknowledge the problem, we will never find the solution for it. You cannot stop a crime by just gawking or ignoring it; you stop it by actually doing something!

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17 Comments on “Taboo Topics In the Philippines (And Why We Need To Discuss Them)”

  1. You can blame religion for pretty much all of it. In the ancient and classical time we used to glorify sex and consider as a form of art but then monotheism came along and considered it taboo. Death is taken for granted due to the thought of the afterlife which also prevent most people from moving on in this life because, you know, lucky are the poor for they shall inherit the heaven or something like that. And on crime people don’t really care because they believe that there’s someone out there who sees our every action and will bring justice for the victims and punishment for the sinners. That is why even though the corruption in our country is so freakin’ obvious people don’t mind it at all because there is a god to make it all right for them.

    The most dangerous thing that religion has given us is HOPE, which is similar to your thought of positiveness.

    1. You can blame religion for pretty much all of it. In the ancient and classical time we used to glorify sex and consider as a form of art but then monotheism came along and considered it taboo.

      I don’t think so, at least for Judaism and Christianity.

      Ever read of Song of Solomon? It’s very sexual if you read it. However, the sensuality is within the context of marriage.

    2. Yes you can blame religion, the religion of atheism. I can say it all started in the era called renaissance or enlightenment and I can call it the Second Fall of Man. Man is a spiritual being and sexuality is a part of our spirituality. Sex is sacred because it makes man to procreate(with God) a new human being. It is sacrilegious to abuse a sacred thing. Human sexuality is one of the aspects of our being that separate us from animals. The problem now is that most of the humans are acting like animals and animals now are treated like humans.

  2. Religion offers forgiveness as long as you follow the club and give them money. That is the problem. No matter what you do, steal, rape or murder, as long as you confess you’ll be forgiven. Filipinos can not handle such a concept. They lack understanding that it is not the magic man/woman in the sky who judges you, it’s your environment and the people around you.

    1. Rreligion does not forgive sins only God can forgive sins. The priest is only an instrument for Gods mercy, it depends on the person who are asking for forgiveness.

    2. There’s no talking to people already too blinded by a God they have been conditioned to believe. So no matter how you try, unless these people themselves begin to wake up, you’ll just end up scratching your head… or your balls. LOL

  3. Taboos after all are only hangovers, the product of diseased minds, you might say, of fearsome people who hadn’t the courage to live and who under the guise of morality and religion have imposed these things upon us.

  4. Yup. Somebody is going to mention religion at some point.

    You know what, I’m sick of hearing redundant arguments from atheists saying religion is at fault for EVERYTHING.

    Religion is an abstract. It’s the person’s perception of it that affects his/her life. If one thinks his religion is everything, then something’s wrong with him. But if he recognizes it only as a part of what makes him what he is, then there’s nothing wrong with his beliefs.

    Just a humble opinion from a Protestant.

  5. Fear to face the actual and factual about our human existence is a kind of dementia to start with ~thus, the beginning of wisdom is to know what the heck is the matter all about. We must know that we face a problem before we can begin to solve it. But, first step is to have a criterion against which to discover or discern there is problem. It would seem that absence of happiness in the way one lives is a sure sign that we have problem. What sayeth ?

  6. Taboo? Tabo ang iniisip ko sa ganyan na salita.

    “Ang babaeng ubod ng selan, kung ating pagmamasdan, ang kanyang itinago-tago, ipinakita lang niya sa tabo”

    Hypocrisy is more like this:

    “bastos ka walang galang bakit ka nang-gagapang?” – “Di naman nang-gagapang, nangingibabaw po lamang”

  7. Thank goodness the Philippines is not a Muslim country or we’ll have more taboos – some of which can even cost you your life.

    I like the topic of death a lot. Our short life on earth is best lived out in the context of what awaits us in the afterlife.

    If you haven’t done your research, do so before it’s too late. Google NDE.

  8. Taboos are subjects placed there by previous generations, not to be discussed openly.
    They are now part of our culture and beliefs. They are the “Earth Mind consciousness”, as I call them…there are many consciousness levels in our human psyche, we only discovered, a few…however, they are there, inherent in our being.

    Religions have made these taboos part of their teachings and beliefs. Often, they are hindrances to our human progress…they are more of problems, than solutions…

    To face these taboos and discuss them openly, will make us more human. We have to relegate our old and obsolete beliefs into the garbage dumps.
    If we can overcome these obstacles, our civilization can move forward a little bit.

  9. I’m Filipino and I don’t agree with this. These topics are not taboo. I’ve seen and talked to many Filipinos who welcome conversations about those. Please do not generalize. Nobody should say a certain thing is taboo with no clear basis. This is misleading.

    1. What is funny I always hear from Filipinos “DO NOT GENERALIZE”. I did a poll. I ask every Filipinos, 110,000,000 of them, each one said “DO NOT GENERALIZE”. I said Filipinos are stupid and they responded, each of them, 110,000,000 of them, said “no, they are not stupid we are intelligent”. If each 110,000,000 Filipinos are not stupid and they are intelligent why is Philippines still the sick man of Asia despite they have plenty of doctors and their doctors top medical exam?

      1. Oratio Imperta –

        1. you are foolish to NOT REVEAL your Real Name — and the real that you ARE Perpetuating your own hidden nature of SHAME. Just looked up your PSEUDO name meaning “Oratio Imperata is a set of Roman Catholic invocative prayers consisting of a liturgical action and a short, general prayer which the local ordinary or prelate of the church may publicly pray when a grave need or calamity occurs. ”

        2. You are LASHING OUT because you have been continuously and still remain hurt —

        The answer is SIMPLE: Its Generational SYSTEMIC

        1. Bernadette, you are quick to Google Oratio Imperata obviously not your definition ! Aha! Ha! Ha!

          Me? Hurt? Nope! Helping your systemic pre-existing generational genetic mass racial destruction.

          I am helping Filipinos by exposing who they are. Filipinos do not know what is ailing them. Here is my prescription … stop reading Philippine Fake News … stop watching Filipino channels …

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