Wednesday, April 6, 2011

When Child Abuse is Acceptable

It is acceptable to father a child then run off to another city because you don’t want to pay for raising the kid. Who cares if the kid lives his whole life knowing he was not wanted?

It is acceptable to have a kid and farm him out to Granny or Auntie or Sister’s cousin rather than personally nurture his young life. Who cares if the kid understands that he was not worth his mother’s trouble?

It is acceptable to plop a kid in front of the TV where he can watch skimpily clad girls gyrate sexily, and never sit down with him to show him the joys of reading a book. Who cares if the kid is never given a chance to achieve his educational potential?

It is acceptable to have another kid, in addition to the eight now on hand, to make sure there is another laborer – at age nine - available to earn (or steal or beg for) money for the rice, the tuba and the lotto. Who cares about child exploitation?

It is acceptable to teach a child to follow rules and obey those in power and never display the impertinence of thinking for himself. Who cares if the child never learns about ambition and creativity and achievement?

It is acceptable not to care whether or not a child is grieving inside. Who cares if he is miserable and angry all the way into his adult years?

These abuses are common in the Philippines; they are widely accepted without protest. The Catholic Church encourages the conditions that lead to abuse. The government sanctions abuse by failing to stop it. The schools teach lock-step obedience instead of healthy self-esteem. Parents participate in the abuse by offering up every excuse in the book to avoid responsibility for it.


  1. To foreigners, discipline by Filipino parents is called child abuse. To Filipino parents, "child abuse" is foreign language. When I was in catholic school, priests cum teacher, hit us with their belt. My parents blame me for being rowdy.

    Those who knows the real meaning of child abuse are the wealthy families who has studied abroad. That is why teachers in Ateneo and La Salle and so-called "Ivy school" are very very careful dealing with problem students.

  2. The catholic church are ignorant about discrimination of my brown-skin-punk'd-nose. They are the ones who kowtow with the fair skin hoping they tithe big time to their church.

  3. The stupid Philippine media is oblivious because they are Filipinos. And Filipinos look up to media as intelligentsia. Naku! Malas talaga ang mga Filipinos.!

  4. Mariano,

    Interesting, the comment regarding wealthy Filipinos having picked up sensitivity toward young people when overseas. That is good to know. Also, I note that the Aquino administration is doing a push to try to stop, or cut back, on the exploitation of children for labor. With awareness, perhaps will come broader change, and new values that prize children.