Another blessing on its way

She was a mother of five who owned a small library for children located beside the highway in Barangay Mambatad, Miagao, Iloilo. I could not forget her because of her library, something that is out of the ordinary in a place that ranks education somewhere below having to earn for a living. I used to join a Catholic organization in college that taught catechism to young boys in that area which we held every Thursday in their house. Back then, I was already questioning the wisdom behind having a lot of children in such impoverished area of Miagao. That time she was already pregnant with her sixth child. Her husband, a utility worker at the Division of Biological Sciences invited our group to that place as he saw the need of the children for the teachings of the Church.

Our group leader, a Public Health professor and a devout Catholic, did not give the mother a lecture on the use of artificial contraceptives to limit the size of their family, which I think is customary once a public health worker and a woman pregnant with her nth child come face to face. Neither was there a passing mention about family planning. I understood the professor’s dilemma. Can one be a faithful Roman Catholic and a pragmatist at the same time. The response, I gather, is in the negative.

I met her again this morning. After a short ‘how-have-yous’ she mentioned that she is pregnant for three months, ‘another blessing is on the way’ to translate what she said in the vernacular. Her seventh child.

I beggar understanding when it comes to issues such as this. When population issue is pitted against faith I am wont to take the side of the former. Not because I do not have faith but because I can see that rationality of limiting one’s family size to allow children to have maximum care and attention from their parents. To quote a friend and a regular reader of this blog who quoted this from someone else ‘not using condom (or contraception in our case) is so third world’. And indeed it is.

While the rest of the Catholic world is progressively combatting the ills mankind has inflicted on itself, the faithful Catholics in the Philippines remain enmeshed in the Medieval Age-like existence.

And I ask, what does ‘another blessing on its way’ mean?


8 thoughts on “Another blessing on its way”

  1. i.b, you’ve totally captured what ‘blessing’ means. most pinoys cannot deal with reality because they cushion it with sweet words thereby making them miss the whole point.

  2. not just the catholic church is ‘dogmatically’ against contraception, a lot of protestant fundamentalist churches also are against it. numbers (in terms of membership) after all mean influence and power. and can one imagine these churches changing their doctrines within the next 500 years? it took around 300 years to officially admit Galileo wasn’t wrong to say the earth moves around the sun (, a lot of fundamentalist churches still curse the name of Darwin.
    The trick, i guess, is to admit to oneself that the church can play a civilizing and humanizing role and yet is not infallible, or to admit that it is impossible to live 100% after the tenets of one’s church.
    regarding this specific case, women do have the right, can, and do (including some pinay friends i know, one of whom eventually left her pinoy husband and remarried) refuse to be responsible for contraception. then the responsibility falls on the men. castration (NO NO NO, just kidding), vasectomy and condoms mean anything to anyone? the last of course is the cheapest and least hassle. it’s a bit hard for me to believe any woman actually likes being pregnant seven times, even if she were well-off. saying ‘blessing’ is probably a defense mechanism for her helplessness to decide her own fate.

  3. the catholic position on contraceptive use is illogical and contradictory (For more details, please see the hilarious Humanae Vitae) .

    The question, then, boils down to, “Should I choose to maintain catholic dogma despite its glaring contradictions or should I face the reality that there’s an urgent need to curtail the growth of the population?”

  4. yeah, thanks for sharing that video, lol. sacred sperm indeed, wahaha. i think it has nothing to do with religion because if good roman catholics elsewhere in the world are not multiplying themselves like crazy and still having normal lives as couples, why can’t pinoys do the same?
    matigas ang ulo ng pinoy, that’s what, not to mention not having a sense of respect for human life, otherwise why bring a child to a world where it will only know poverty.
    i mean, just how difficult is it to go out and get a pack of condoms?on public transport, the only people i see carrying their babies around are mostly poor immigrants, the locals usually see to it that they own their own home and car before they have kids. and all these kids do get to celebrate their first communion splendidly.

  5. I am reminded of this Monty Python skit/musical Every Sperm is Sacred

    Anyway, this is one reason why I don’t believe in church. To have/look for faith is natural but subjecting people to certain beliefs is another.

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