A Mother’s Day Rant

motherhood

“Mother is God in the eyes of a child.”

~Rose Da Silva, Silent Hill The Movie

While everyone’s going crazy over the heated competition between the presidential candidates for voters, I’d like to take the time to talk about one of the central dysfunctions in Pinoy society. It is after all Mother’s Day today and so I’d like to talk about the meaning of “family” and “motherhood” and how the dysfunction in our culture perverts even these two sacred and beautiful things. Thing is, for many countries, “family” is supposedly the basic unit of a community and when even that is corrupted and perverted, one need not think too hard on what the society actually becomes.

Now, I’d like to share with you a story told to me by one of my friends and avid readers. She too is a mother who, one time in her life, witnessed how some of us are all too willing to exploit even something as sacrosanct as the beauty of family and motherhood. Before I begin, I’d like to state that this story belongs to my friend and all credit should go to her and not me. Also, this is not a work of fiction but a true story although I’ve taken a few creative liberties here and there.

***

My friend was pretty young when all this happened. She was only 26 at the time, studying hard for her college degree and living with her parents in a rural part of Iloilo. We’ll call her by the name “Jinky”.

They had a neighbor then who lived in a shanty house right beside their own. She was a scrawny woman who often dressed like a prostitute. On a nightly basis, they would hear the loud cries of a baby that went on for many hours.

One day, Jinky decided to investigate and saw that the woman had three children and one of them was a 3 months old baby, the one that they heard at night. The other two children seemed too young to really know anything as they were only of preschool age but Jinky found them boiling water in what used to be a paint can to use for making milk for the baby.

Later, when Jinky finally got to talk to the woman proper, she learned that the three children were simply a product of an affair the woman had with a local market vendor. The reason the baby often cried at night was simply because the woman was out “working” so that she could earn enough money to feed her children and she wasn’t around to breast-feed the poor thing. Despite the woman’s appearance, Jinky saw that she worked hard just to make sure that her children had what they need but, even then, it was never really enough.

The children wore almost the same clothes every day which were filled with large holes, the only thing they could afford to eat was a can of sardines which was shared by the two children and all they had to sleep on were sacks of dirt. Moved by pity, Jinky and her parents decided to watch the woman’s children for her whenever she was gone. More often than not, they would even let the woman’s children stay in their house.

But then, one day, the poor woman died after meeting her fate at the bumper of a jeepney. It was never clear what really happened, but it seems there was a huge commotion in the local marketplace and, in her panic, the poor woman wasn’t able to avoid the oncoming jeepney that ended her life. The woman’s children and Jinky were devastated at the news that the woman wasn’t coming home ever.

Then the time came for the woman’s children to go to their grandparents and Jinky thought that it was only for the best. However, she often thought that the woman would let her adopt the baby because Jinky often heard the woman telling her that she was the baby’s “other” mother. Unfortunately, that was not what happened.

Apparently, the grandparents of the children had other plans for the baby. They weren’t just going to give it away for adoption. They wanted to sell the poor thing for a large amount of money.

In the end, Jinky never got the baby because she was just another poor college student at the time. Later however, she learned much to her relief that the baby had been adopted by a wealthy and loving childless couple.

Today Jinky lives a comfortable life in Iloilo with her family of six children. However, she told me that she often thought of that baby in the years before and what would’ve happened if the wrong family had adopted the baby. She often thinks that perhaps she could have just used her tuition at the time to buy the baby and just continue her course once she’d gotten money again.

***

Anyway, what is truly sad is that this is, more likely than not, a unique and isolated incident. Even as I speak, I can imagine a lot of irresponsible parents out there who just up and decide to sell their children for a given amount of money. Now look, I can understand if they cannot support their own children but do they have to go as far as to selling them off like pets or livestock? Must they dehumanize their own children by treating them like animals?

Look ladies and gentlemen, if we truly want Philippine society to improve, let us all learn to be responsible parents to the next generation. Let us look after the children of our country for we are all parents in a spiritual and moral sense as each and every one of us has a responsibility to do what is right and be a good example to those younger than us. Let us treat every child with respect and dignity as individuals who will one day take our place rather than simply commodities to be traded or useful “investments.”

I am Thaddeus Morvacle Grimwald, son of a truly heroic mother, and from my heart I say:

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL MOMS OUT THERE FROM THE ADMINS AND CONTRIBUTORS OF GET REAL PHILIPPINES!

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21 Comments on “A Mother’s Day Rant”

  1. Happy Mothers Day to all!!!

    It was a tragic story. Please do not bring children into this world; if you cannot : feed, cloth, and educate them…if you cannot give them a good future.

    Use birth controls, if you do casual sex. Or, at least, do sex only, if you can find a good man to support a family.

    They used to say: “The hand that rocks the cradle , rules the world”!!!

    Blessings to all Mothers and their family. I salute your vocation, as responsible mothers.

  2. “… , if you can find a good man to support a family.”
    Very 1950s attitude/mindset. But probably still the on-going sentiment/folklore in PH.

    I am far less sexist and I want to make all women independent so that they will be able to look after themselves. That will make women stronger.

      1. Henry,
        Thanks for agreeing with me.

        But this is not about me. This is about a country that needs help and needs to get stronger and building better structures/foundations. Unfortunetely not everyone wants to see that because I think most are obsessed by the bible and give more ‘power’ to the head of the family (the father/husband). In the end (but also from the start) its counter-productive. A real lose-lose situation.

    1. @Robert Haighton:

      I am a little bit conservative. Not too liberal…I still believe the father, should be the primary breadwinner…the mother can help, but the mother must bring up the children…

      1. @Hyden,
        There are a lot of people who think the same way you think. Personally, I only see negative sides about that line of thinking. And they are all practical.

        A woman who only needs to clean (up) the house, cook and raise the kids, doesnt need one year of education. Now imagine, you are coming home from work, what will the two of you be talking about?

        Hyden: “Hi honey, how was your day?”
        Hyden’s partner/wife: “Ah, you know, same as yesterday and day before and same as last and as last year”
        Hyden: “Whats for dinner”
        Hyden’s partner/wife: “Your favorite, honey”
        (end of conversation for today)

        Now in case the woman did have some form of education (ranging from High School, or College or University or all three), being a full time housewife is a waste of her talents.
        With her having an education, you now are able to have a good conversation after both come back home from work. The household income will be higher. The foundation is stronger and with (hopefully) not too many kids everything stays managable. Even in a case/situation of a divorce or seperation, it still doesnt get into catastrophy for either one. I call this a win-win situation. And they both contribute to the national economy which is good for maybe creating more jobs eventually.

        In short:
        On a micro level (the household itself) its good and on a macro level (the country’s economy) its good.

      2. (to add to my previous comment)
        @Hyden,
        I dont see any ‘palaces’ nor ‘castles’ in Cebu, so cleaning a house cant be a day’s job. Cooking doesnt cost all day and rasing kids is also not a day’s job. So your partner has time enough to play golf on the green with the next doorneighbour husband who she can coveth (he is not allowed to do that according to the commandments but she is).

      3. Hyden,
        I have one final question for you.

        You say that “the mother must bring up the children”. Why?
        Your kids carry both YOUR and her (your partner/wife) genes. Dont you want to raise your own kids too in collaboration/conjunction with your partner and put some flavor into it?
        Dont you wanna play soccer or basketball with your son in the back yard or take your son/daughter with you to a museum?
        Dont you wanna share things with your on/daughter?

        Ah well, free choice for all.

        1. @Robert Haighton:

          My wife works part time, as a Psychologist. We hire a good caretaker to take care of the children, while she work.

          I play with my children; teach them to be successful. Our sports are: baseball, gymnastics, American football. I teach them art like: music, the violin,the piano, singing, poetry and writing. I teach them about Filipino culture and Filipino history…where their father came from…

          My wife teach them how to take care of themselves. Her culture (she is from Wales, Great Britain). How to have good relationship with people. Good manners and right conduct. She teaches them, about God; how to pray and meditate.

          This is how we are bringing up our children…

        2. Hyden,
          sounds good to me.

          The following is personal and I would have problems with teaching my kids about god (me being an atheist). I talked about this with my pinay GF. I prefer to let the kids determine themselves what they want to be/become by studying all kinds of belief-systems (incl atheism). And after they collected factual information from all sides, they can choose. And their choice will be accepted by me. If they know everything about all possible belief-systems (incl all criticism), there was never a case of indoctrination and brain-washing. And only in that case, I will respect, appreciate and support their decision.

  3. Good article Grimwald. You pretty much summed up everything that’s wrong with the Philippines.

    It’s a pity these everyday issues get so little attention, what with all the howling about Duterte and how he’s going to save us all. The things you write about are all personal failures – failure to use contraception, failure to learn life skills to support yourself or your kids, selling children like chattels (which, apparently, is less of a sin than producing them in the first place), all the way down to the general social disorder which results in someone dying for no apparent reason. No government can fix these things.

    1. @Robert Haighton:

      I respect your belief. When my children will be of age. I cannot prevent them, of what they will believe. They will have minds of their own.

      1. Hyden,
        pls let me be the asshole here.

        You dont have to respect my belief (I dont even like that word: belief). One either (dis-)agrees to it, (dis-)likes it, accepts it or maybe even thinks its bullshit. Sorry, but we dont use those terms (respect) in my neck of the woods when talking about one’s religion/belief.

        We just say frank and blunt what we think (with arguments). Pls do the same with me. I will appreciate that much more and much better. Thanks.

        1. Bobetta,
          I dont know why it is funny. I am not working in the entertainment industry. So I guess your remark was cynical.
          If it was sincere and genuine then – again – I dont understand why.

  4. Nice true-to-life story Grimwald. Well since you’re the type who likes creepy stuff. I got one for you:

    There once was a couple who longed to have a baby. Finally after many years trying, the woman conceived – but to their dismay, it turned out to be a boy with down’s syndrome. The couple felt the shame and ostracism of having to raise an abnormal child.

    One day the family was out on a picnic and the boy (now a small toddler) told her mom he wanted to pee. So the mother brought the boy to the side of the mountain to relieve himself. But while he had his back turned, the mother pushed the poor lad down the steep ravine and he died.

    The following year, the mother conceived again – but this time it turned out to be a normal boy. Finally, the couple felt relieved to be a normal family like everyone else. The couple was excited with great dreams of the boy becoming a successful professional in his chosen vocation some day (and with that the prospect of ROI!)

    The boy grew, and coincidentally the family found themselves having a picnic at the very same spot on the mountain where the “tragedy” years back happened. And as if in some strange moment of de javu, the little lad asked the mother if he could pee. The mother having totally forgotten any memory of her sinister act she committed took the boy to the same edge of the cliff.

    But while the boy was about to open his zipper, he told his mother “Mama, this time, please don’t push me ok?”

    —Goosebumps—

    Ending: The mother eventually became insane and committed suicide.

    Compliments of a colleague of mine in a past life (previous job).

  5. When my mother asks, “Do you want a piece of advice?” it’s a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.

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