“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.
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:
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.
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.
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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