Living in The Philippines > Philippine Culture, Filipino Family Relationships

Unwed mothers, has it become acceptable?

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When I first arrived here I was amazed at the number of children with out fathers..the number of un-wed mothers.  Amazed might not be the correct word shocked might be better.  It seems sometimes that finding a child with two married parents is the exception instead of the rule.  As I sit here,  I have been going over who I know that live together that are actually married,  and so far out of the 20 or so couples that we know (couples in their 20's or 30's ) only two (and we are one of those) are actually married.
I just had a long discussion with my wife about this post and one of the major things we came up with is the cost of being married.  The cost of a civil wedding is (and I am sure this varies ) is approx. 1500 by the time you do the paperwork and the cost of a church ( Catholic ) wedding the skies the limit.  Two of Malines classmates who have children are pretty close to us and have been trying to save the money to get married since I have known them.  The have jobs, work, are decent people but cant seem to find the money to pay for the wedding. 
This is as the brits say a sticky wicket,  Take a look at the level of education here, lets leave out the kids affected by being related to us.  I am only going to deal with what I know, mostly the area around Tacloban City.  I have no idea of Manila or Cebu. 
When I moved here I lived in an apartment in the San Jose area, similar houses/ apts. around me.  One block over (I later found out) started the squatter area.  This area was extensive, several miles across running several miles up and down the coast.  There were people that owned the land there but surrounded by those that did not and just built small houses on land they squatted on.  Most of the squatters either had menial jobs or no jobs and lived day to day. 
At anytime day or night herds of kids, any age could be found roaming the streets and neighborhoods.  No parent in sight.  Going to school was not a priority.  It would seem that parenting was not a priority also. 
Some nights I would go to a street-side bar I like for a Pilsen and just sit there watching people and traffic.  Many times I would see groups of kids roaming up and down the street, both boys and girls, and if you watched the actions of the kids it was obvious that sex was a priority objective, the ages of these kids seemed to be pre-teen or early teen. I am very sure that contraception was not on the agenda.  So lack of parenting, lack of any authority figure at school, the Catholic church's stand on contraception gives you wholesale sex which gives you wholesale babies, which starts the cycle all over again.  To be fair its not just here, I saw the exact same thing in the projects in the United States. 
Celebrity example
More than anyplace I have ever been, celebrities here are placed in an almost God like position of idolization.  That includes politicians and movie stars .  All you have to do is look, read about what is published about them and you can see the example they serve up.  Heck just look at Noy Noy's sister. Take time sometime to watch the soap opera's.  Yes in the US and other places they are popular, but not to the extent they are they are like Gods, and what amazes me is the number of people here that think thats real life. 
Lack of hope for the future
Talk sometime to the people here, not people that are doing good with good jobs because they are in the minority, your pedi cab drivers, the guy that comes to your house to collect plastic, those kind of people.  Most have no plans for the future, most live day to day and are happy to have food for the day with the occasional beer.  Most think the only thing in life is to eat, have kids and die. Lacking anything else to do sex and drinking are a priority.  Its fun sometimes the only fun.
OK heres a test, find a Filipino guy that does not think its OK to bed any girl he can.  Its the same macho attitude that permeates most Latin American countries.  Its cultural in any country that was populated, ruled by the Spanish and Catholic Church.  BTW I am Roman Catholic but am aware of the problems with the Church as it is today. 
Unwed mothers, has it become acceptable?
No I dont think its acceptable, given the above I think its inevitable.
Given the lack of leadership, apathy, by almost everybody in charge what do you expect.
As for the Priest who scolded the 17 year old...obviously he missed the class on leadership, I spent 22 years in the Marine Corp. NEVER was (except for boot camp) I called out in front of the troops, NEVER did I call anybody out in front of the troops, an ass chewing should be done in private you accomplish nothing tearing down someone in front of people except creating a resentment that could last for a life time.
Yes Lee I tend to agree with the "you should be married" part.  But given my observations of the Philippines I think its about 100th on the list of things to fix first...Lee

Seems we were both typing frantically at the same time, Coleman, and we both agree on all points.

iamjames, seems like, and yes we usually agree, amazing, the Scots and the Irish agreeing...and like you I have a degree in Theology, however I picked mine up just because the subject fascinates does history and political science..

Looks like the Priest may need to become a tricycle driver / Tom /

Priest in unwed mum outburst faces sanctions
by AFP
July 8, 2014 (updated)
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A Philippine priest faces possible sanctions after his scathing condemnation of an unwed mother in church ignited a social media firestorm, his religious superiors said Tuesday.

Father Romeo Obach angrily scolded a young mother in church on Sunday as she held her newborn baby in her arms to be baptised, apparently unaware his comments were being videotaped.

“You should be ashamed of yourself for bringing your child to be baptised when you don’t even have a husband,” the priest is shown telling the visibly shaken young woman in a clip uploaded on YouTube which has since gone viral.

“You are shameless. You slept with a man who is not even your husband,” he alleged.

Turning to her relatives and friends, the priest asked: “Is she being a good Christian… will you spread your legs for a man you barely know?”

Both the priest and his religious order later issued separate public apologies and the order promised an investigation. The Philippines is a mainly Catholic nation.

“This priest is a hypocrite! You are not preaching the gospel of Christ!” one comment on YouTube read.

“Hey priest, you should follow the example of your pope,” another read, referring to the less judgemental attitude begun by Pope Francis.

“As a religious community we do not condone such an unacceptable act,” the order said in its statement, adding it would reach out to the family of the young woman, a parishioner in the central city of Cebu.

The Redemptorists’ media officer in Cebu, Father Alfonso Suico, told AFP Obach would likely be required to “take time for prayer and reflection and will not be allowed to celebrate sacraments publicly for a duration to be determined by our superiors”.

Obach said in a separate statement: “The words I said and the rude attitude that I showed before I performed the rite of baptism… was indeed unbecoming.”

“I am deeply sorry to the mother of the child, her relatives, the sponsors and the witnesses of the incident.”

The outburst took place a day after the head of the Philippines’ bishops called on the local clergy to listen more and condemn less on issues of abortion, divorce and contraception, in the latest sign of a liberal shift in the powerful institution.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas said a change of tone would be a fitting welcome for the pope, who is visiting the country next year.

Church leaders exert vast influence in the conservative Philippines, Asia’s Catholic bastion and the only state apart from the Vatican that still outlaws both divorce and terminations.

The redemptorists are historically notorious for their hellfire and brimstone rantings. I remember 50 years ago in Ireland when a parish would have a general 'retreat' they would bring in a redemptorist. These lunatics would have the whole parish scared out of their wits at the end of a week. I had thought that the fire and brimstone with the gruesome detail approach was long gone.


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