29 Oct2013


A good friend sent me the following piece, which was sent to her by another friend… so all I can say is, I didn’t write it, and I don’t know who originally did. But I like it. :)

A Real Father…

A little boy got on the bus, sat next to a man reading a book, and noticed he had his collar on backwards.

The little boy asked why he wore his collar backwards.

The man, who was a priest, said, “I am a Father…”

The little boy replied, “My Daddy doesn’t wear his collar like that.”

The priest looked up from his book and answered, “I am the Father of many.”

The boy said, “My Dad has 4 boys, 4 girls and two grandchildren and he doesn’t wear his collar that way!”

The priest, getting impatient, said. “I am the Father of hundreds”, and went back to reading his book.

The little boy sat quietly thinking for a while, then leaned over and said, “Maybe you should wear a condom, and put your pants on backwards instead of your collar.”


If you were wondering about the wooden bowl filled with colorful treats, it’s a 100+ year old carved wooden bowl from Bohol and I use it to lay out chocolates, hard candy, other goodies on my office desk in Cebu. Occasionally, I fill it with condoms, and a nice selection of them at that. Staff are free to take some of them, but they have to leave a peso in the bowl for every condom they take. So essentially I subsidize 80% of the cost of the prophylactics. I think intelligent and safe sex is a far better alternative than unwanted pregnancies and hundreds of thousands of abortions performed in this country each year. I do NOT encourage promiscuity, but the reality is, folks are doing it, and if they chose to do it, better to do it safely than not. I think the Philippines are in the dark ages when it comes to sex education and family planning, and wonder when we will join the modern age, as at nearly 100 million people, the country is already the 12th most populous nation on the planet…



  1. khrishyne says:

    trick or treat mm version…:)

    Oct 29, 2013 | 4:20 pm


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  3. Cris J. says:

    Amen to that. :)

    Oct 29, 2013 | 4:48 pm

  4. marilen says:

    A small step for ….. but definitely …. yes, amen indeed to what you posted.

    Oct 29, 2013 | 8:25 pm

  5. MP says:

    I would like to print this, make hundreds of copies and distribute after mass this Sunday… I don’t mind getting excommunicated….

    Oct 29, 2013 | 10:05 pm

  6. netoy says:

    101% in agreement!

    Oct 29, 2013 | 10:41 pm

  7. Lissa says:

    AMEN. for a while there, i thought you were giving out condoms to trick or treaters if they say their parents have more than 2 kids hehe.

    Oct 29, 2013 | 11:27 pm

  8. jeff says:

    lol. nice one. binanatan mo na naman ang simbahan. fave past time mo.

    Oct 29, 2013 | 11:52 pm

  9. Mart says:

    I think we are doomed to the future of “Idiocracy”;
    The smart educated people opt to have less children and have them later on in life while the unwashed masses do not think twice before engaging their promiscuity.
    The math of it is the unwashed masses will inherit the earth.

    When animals over-breed in a certain area and no humans or predators are there to “cull the herd” so to speak, the local food sources get depleted and the brood naturally migrate away. Those who don’t migrate face the consequences of local resource depletion, to put it mildly.

    The earth actually still has the space and the resources. There are vast expanses of land that are unpopulated. The problem is, most people flock to the cities because the jobs and the money are there.

    You can probably eke out a living/life away from the concrete jungles but people with that mindset are very few and far between. Most people are “indoctrinated” into the “modern way” of living; tv, cellphones, internet, paper/plastic/electronic bits to represent money, etc. The fact that I’m writing this comment means I’m one of the “indoctrinated”.

    But I digress. Lovely bowl. Can’t say I’ve seen one of those brands named “Lick” before. :-)

    Oct 30, 2013 | 1:49 am

  10. millet says:

    good job, MM! i think all offices should have that.

    Oct 30, 2013 | 9:43 am

  11. britelite says:

    I might just do that in the office!:)

    Oct 30, 2013 | 8:38 pm

  12. Reish says:

    What is wrong with few days of abstinence? If you know what I mean. Why treat sex like it is some candy or something? :(

    Oct 31, 2013 | 12:43 am

  13. Charly says:

    While visiting Bhutan a few days ago, Walking around I noticed that condoms are available in almost all the stores for free. I ask our guide why free condoms are available everywhere, I was told that pre-marital sex is not unusual in their culture this is to prevent diseases and unwanted pregnancy.

    Oct 31, 2013 | 6:56 am

  14. Marketman says:

    Reish, abstinence is ABSOLUTELY FINE by me, but the reality today is that the MAJORITY if not VAST MAJORITY of young workers over 18 or 21 are quite sexually active. That’s the reality. So unless we want to ignore reality and live in a preferred view of reality, you have to deal with the here and now, not what we hope will be the case. If I were to use the 180 people employed by Zubuchon as a proxy for the wider population say in the 75-95th percentile, they are almost all reasonably educated, hard-workers, mostly young, but over half of them on their first, second, third, fourth relationships, often with offspring by multiple people, and the vast majority not legally married to boot. THAT is more the reality than our preferred view of everyone being chaste and abstinent. And let’s not go to the income brackets that are lower than that, and that have family sizes two to three times folks in the top 10% of the population in terms of income levels…

    I almost always ask folks with sentiments similar to yours… “where have you been? try to figure out how 70-80+ million citizens of this country really live, work, etc.” and more often than not, they can’t really say, nor have they bothered to really factually figure it out… One study suggests there are as many as 500,000+ illegal abortions are performed in this country every year. Isn’t that a shocking and disturbing figure? And even if you extrapolated that those folks did it 10x for every time they got pregnant (the figure is likely much higher), then that’s 5,000,000+ times a condom might have helped prevent an abortion rather than prevent the creation of a being that had to be aborted. And don’t get me started on communicable diseases, etc… Five million condoms would cost PHP25million, much less than Willie Revillame’s Rolls Royce… and on the flipside, raising the 500,000+ aborted kids, PLUS the OTHER kids which were born, say just 200,000 to be conservative… that’s 700,000 children, raising them to adulthood at say PHP2 million each for decent food, housing, healthcare and education would require PHP1.4 trillion in funds. For me, the choice is obvious, spend the PHP25 million for condoms. And when folks really are ready and want and have the resources to have and take care of kids, go ahead and do so as you please.

    Charly, AMAZING. How enlightened is Bhutan, or what?!

    Oct 31, 2013 | 9:57 am

  15. mary chen says:

    i love the story! worth sharing!
    @reish abstinence is not a good word applicable to the class C,D,E. if the husband comes home drunk there is no way the wife can say no unless the wife will suffer the wrath…you get my drift yeah? so abstinence is out of the window. this is reality, check!

    Oct 31, 2013 | 9:12 pm

  16. BenQ says:

    Wish the conservative catholics are as open-minded as you….

    Oct 31, 2013 | 10:18 pm

  17. Mike De Guzman says:

    thank God you’re one of the enlightened ones when it comes to contraception!

    Nov 1, 2013 | 12:39 pm

  18. Reish says:

    Please tell me why it’s easier to hand out condoms than share information like this https://www3.nd.edu/~afreddos/courses/264/contraception-whynot.htm

    Nov 2, 2013 | 12:50 am

  19. Reish says:

    @ Mary Chen shouldn’t it be the abusive husbands thrown out the window instead?

    Nov 2, 2013 | 12:59 am

  20. JB & Renee says:

    Posts like this remind me why you’re my favorite blogger MM. Such an inspiration.

    Anyone who thinks that you’re promoting promiscuity by making contraception available needs to get off their soap box and wake up. The middle ages called, they want their thinking back. I swear, it’s people like that that hold this country back. I know a few people like that in my circles, and they tend to be the most self-righteous. And hypocritical.

    Amazing to hear about Bhutan. Visiting that country has always been tops on my bucket list, and reading about their stance on contraception makes me want to go there all the more. What a beautiful, progressive country. So enlightened in many ways…

    Nov 2, 2013 | 9:07 am

  21. shiko-chan says:

    Haha I love that “condom bowl”! We need more of that… many more… around the country, for sure.

    Incidentally, I’m not terribly up-to-date on my prophylactics, but I expect “Lick” and “Durex” cost quite a bit more than your run-of-the-mill “Trust”. So you’re subsidizing much more than just 80%, or is my dyscalculia showing again?

    Nov 2, 2013 | 9:28 am

  22. shiko-chan says:

    and for Reish, hey I for one (as a fan of MM’s condom bowl) would love to throw abusive husbands (and boyfriends etc.) out the window any day. unfortunately, that takes MUCH more time, effort, energy, and legal expenses than simply providing condoms (at as low a price as P5). and MM hasn’t shown he’s against abstinence, which makes your first comment out of place.

    what MM HAS shown, imho, is that he’s in favor of common sense, and of providing–even subsidizing out of his own pocket! how many anti-contraception/abortionists do that??–opportunities and options where none exist or are accessible.

    now, if you’re against people having options, well clearly the issue is something other than what you’re explicitly saying.

    lastly, please tell us why it’s more valid for you to come gratuitously onto a third-party’s blog post and insist/argue that your beliefs, not his, should prevail, than simply to keep your peace and go on your way.

    Nov 2, 2013 | 9:32 am

  23. Reish says:

    Yes, MM said he does NOT encourage promiscuity, but doesn’t that bowl of condoms itself encourage promiscuity? It could possibly encourage two employees with no relationship at all to have sex right there in your office because, hey, there’s a condom right there we can’t get pregnant!

    The fact that my first comment was not removed means it was valid – otherwise your second comment would have been out of place.

    Nov 2, 2013 | 11:59 am

  24. JB & Renee says:

    @Reish: “…but doesn’t that bowl of condoms itself encourage promiscuity?”

    No, it doesn’t. Fact of the matter is, people will still engage in sexual activity with or without that bowl of condoms. For anyone to think otherwise is incredibly naive. As MM said, you may choose to have a preferred view of reality, but sadly, that isn’t the world we live in. Wake up and read the statistics.

    Nov 2, 2013 | 1:01 pm

  25. Marketman says:

    JB & Renee, comment 22, thanks, that mirrors what would have been my answer to comment 21. And I might add, does leaving chef’s knives out on a kitchen counter encourage murder by stabbing? Of course not. Does having access to a bed or a motel room directly result in one’s having wild, passionate and irresponsible illicit sex? Of course not. Does leaving your prescription medicine on the dining table cause your staff to take it in droves to cause an overdose? Of course not. Does leaving nylon or abaca rope, or a hose for that matter, lying about encourage one to hang themselves? Of course not. As I said earlier, I KNOW a lot of today’s youth are sexually active, whether or not I have a bowl of condoms on my desk. And if they are going to be sexually active, then I think it’s better to have safe sex. Your logic is your own and you may believe it, as you are entitled to, but it is ridiculously flawed, in my personal opinion.

    shiko-chan, thanks for those comments, I agree with them. As for the question of “Lick and Durex” I have to smirk, as I asked an employee to take PHP1,000 to the nearest drugstore and purchase a selection of condoms. He came back with every brand and every flavor, himself amused by the wide selection now available. Needless to say, the durex were the first to go, as were the “licks” — I had never heard of the brand myself — but I am thrilled that they have such attractive packaging and are available right at the counters and easily accessible to customers.

    Reish, I left your first comment up as it is a topic worthy of discussion and I understand there are differing views. I only remove comments when they are totally off the wall, offensive, unrelated to the topic at hand, libelous, etc. So yes, I think your opinion is worth reading, but as is mine worth considering. I take a very rational and logical view in most of my positions in life, so while I certainly don’t think I need to sway your views in my direction, this is WHAT I THINK ABOUT when i promote condom use:

    1. My experience with hundreds of staff members in their teens and twenties is that they are highly sexually active. See this post, from where I quote these figures:

    “Twenty-three percent of young people aged 15 to 24 are sexually active in a country where Catholic mores frown on premarital sex, says the 2003 State of the Philippine Population Report.

    The report used much of the fresh data of the 2002 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Survey, a national study by the University of the Philippines Population Institute that interviewed nearly 30,000 youth across the country.

    In the 1982 and 1994 surveys, the University of the Philippines established the average age of sexual initiation at 18. In 2002, the age of initial sexual activity changed slightly to 17.5. The study also found out that young people who had sex before age 15 has increased eightfold from less than two percent in 1994 to 16 percent in 2002.”

    Doesn’t that surprise you? Nearly 1/4th of folks between 15 and 24 are sexually active and probably 18-20% by 2013 have had sex by the age of 15!!? And there isn’t data on the 25-30 age group, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that figure jumps to 50-70% of the population or more.

    2. See this well written piece, from where I quote these interesting statistics:

    – half of 3.4 million annual pregnancies are “unintended” or roughly 1.7 million pregnancies!
    – as I mentioned earlier and not in this report, there are an estimated 560,000 abortions in the Philippines EACH YEAR!
    – by the year 2080, the Philippines population could swell to 200 million at current growth projections!
    – 82% of Filipinos say family planning is a personal decision of couples, and no one (particularly I presume, the Church) should interfere
    – 68% of Filipinos feel government should fund natural and artificial means of family planning

    3. And when folks do have their kids, a whopping 70-80+% are unable to provide decent nutrition, clothing, healthcare, housing and education, so that these kids live in often unconscionable conditions, deep in poverty which the Church or government is unable to stem or alleviate. Understand up to 80 million people UNABLE TO EAT A DECENT MEAL IN BASIC CLOTHING UNDER A DECENT ROOF AND HAVING ACCESS TO EDUCATION.

    – Read this post and this post of mine on poverty in the Philippines
    – Read this post on overpopulation, malnutrition and my support for the RH Bill
    – Read this post on the state of Philippine education

    So this is what drives my opinion.

    1. Filipinos from age 15-30 are highly sexually active, with or without access to contraception. I don’t only believe the surveys and second hand information, I see it in hundreds of staff members I oversee from running a business in this country.
    2. There are a LOT of unwanted, unplanned pregnancies in this country every year, and a shocking number of abortions as well.
    3. I agree education of our population regarding family planning or abstinence is useful. But I don’t think “education” alone is sufficient to seriously curb the unwanted pregnancies and abortions.
    4. The vast majority of the Philippine population is at or just above poverty levels, and are unable to feed their children properly along with all the other things that you would hope that a child is ENTITLED TO. After all, the child didn’t ask to come into this world, his parents brought him in. Children’s human rights and access to food, healthcare, etc. should be met, and foremost by their parents who brought them into this world.
    5. The vast majority of children today are not getting a decent education, and only 1% or so get more than 75% on the exam from 6th grade that would allow them to go onto high school.

    Hence, I believe, that contraception is one good way to help people plan their families, so that unwanted pregnancies are reduced, so that abortions are reduced or eradicated, so that there is a better chance that children who are born can be properly cared for.

    Even the POPE himself has recently been quoted as saying the “church is obsessed with gays, abortion and birth control” and finally there is a pontiff who seems in stride with reality and the times. I should note that free access to condoms and other forms of contraception have been readily available in Rome as well as most other majority Catholic nations on the planet for many, many years, why should the Philippines be any different?

    For the past 6 years, marketmanila has sponsored a feeding program for undernourished public school children and we have distributed perhaps over 200,000+ meals valued at PHP4 million or more at schools in Cebu and Taguig. But now I have shifted my focus to helping folks plan their families and avoid unwanted pregnancies and rapid population growth when adults don’t have the means to properly raise their kids. I have done my small part to try and help those who need it. But now, it’s time to actively promote family planning. PHP4 million would have purchased some 800,000 condoms instead of 200,000 meals… there is a part of me that says condoms would have been in several ways, more humanitarian. And Reish, as a result of your comments and this lively discussion, I will be donating another 1,000 condoms “courtesy of Reish” to staff and neighboring barangays in the months ahead. They will say “thank you Reish” the next time they have spontaneous, unplanned and unhooked sex in the office or any other wild location you can dream up for them… Thank you. :)

    P.S. The paper you proivde a link to, as my wife, who attended the University of Notre Dame (where the author you link to taught for a while) points out, was written in 1994, nearly twenty years ago, and uses data as much as 3-4 decades old. Surely a newer piece is something you can use to bolster your argument. And as I point out above, the current pope is much more enlightened, it seems, than the pope quoted in your linked paper.

    P.P.S. Out of curiosity, I just looked up marriage statistics in the Philippines, and the FACT is, the number of ALL registered marriages has been declining since early 2000’s (where data is readily available), despite the population increasing every single year since then. Ergo, you could conclude that the percentage of couples who choose to marry (whether in church, civilly or otherwise) is declining percentage-wise, and they are, presumably, more and more “living together in sin” as some are won’t to describe the situation. But an even more interesting factoid from this basic googling are the unexpected statistics (for me, anyway) in the national census… Of 476,000 registered marriages in 2011, 42.5% were civil marriages, 35.9% were Roman Catholic marriages, and 22% were Muslim, Tribal and Other Religious Marriages. How about that? Just over 1/3 of all marriages were done in a roman catholic setting, for a country that boasts say an 85% Roman Catholic population. In 2004, there were 582,281 registered marriages for roughly 86 million total population. In 2011, just seven years later, there were 476,000 registered marriages for roughly 100+ million people. Clearly, more couples are simply choosing to live together rather than get married, and particularly getting married in the Catholic church. Fewer people solemnizing their vows in church, fewer people joining the priesthood, the church under attack for all kinds of bizarre behavior… you would think they would have better things to do than rail on the availability of birth control and the education of the nation’s citizenry with respect to family planning and maternal health.

    Nov 2, 2013 | 3:42 pm

  26. shiko-chan says:

    “doesn’t that bowl of condoms itself encourage promiscuity? It could possibly encourage two employees with no relationship at all to have sex right there in your office because, hey, there’s a condom right there we can’t get pregnant!”

    Maybe a not inappropriately food-related analogy would be salt and pepper shakers on the tables at a Western-style restaurant. No chef who knows his stuff would ever deliberately underseason his food, much less “encourage” people to add seasoning. But some people insist on their thing.

    “The fact that my first comment was not removed means it was valid”

    No, it means MM knows how civil discourse operates.

    Nov 2, 2013 | 7:36 pm

  27. marilen says:

    Thank you, MM, for this conversation. Much needed.

    Nov 3, 2013 | 6:55 am

  28. maritess says:

    very true..:)

    Nov 3, 2013 | 10:38 am

  29. pixienixie says:

    Wow, I missed out on a rather controversial discussion! :D I agree with MM’s view, though. Sorry to naysayers.

    Nov 3, 2013 | 3:31 pm

  30. Koryo says:

    Now China wants to ease it’s one child policy. They see something….

    Nov 17, 2013 | 3:54 am

  31. Marketman says:

    Koryo, but only after 40+ years of self-restraint and mandated population control, and over 20 years straight of 8%+ per capita GDP growth that has made China one of the world’s top 3 wealthiest and most economically powerful nations. You fail to mention THAT. So if we had a concerted effort to plan our families, and not even a mandated one child policy, AND we grew the economy at that pace for 40 years straight, then yes, it would be LESS of a problem. It always amazes me when people make one off comments that are so shallow in content and thought as yours is. It’s idiotic sometimes to say the least. Educate yourself about both sides of the picture for your own edification. The average poor Filipino family is still having 6+ kids each, which is a FAR cry from the 1-child policy of China. Even with extensive reproductive health education and a birth control program in place, we would be lucky to get that number down to 3 kids per impoverished family. The middle class and upper classes are already having far smaller families as it is…

    Nov 17, 2013 | 7:53 am

  32. Koryo says:

    They have more than a billion people while achieving all that you say they did.

    Nov 17, 2013 | 3:31 pm

  33. Marketman says:

    Koryo, China has 9.64 million square kilometers of land area (including lakes), for roughly 1.36 billion people. The Philippines as 0.300 million square kilometers of total land area (including lakes) for say 99 million. China’s population density is 141 per km2 and the Philippines is 329 people per km2. The Philippines is the 40th most densely populated state (and if you remove things like Macau, Leichstenstein, Vatican, etc.) it is about the 20th most densely populated nation on earth. China is the 83rd most densely populated nation. Do the math. And China grew rapidly WHILE enforcing a one child policy. But rather than debate this, why don’t you simply look at the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, where hundreds of thousands of people are starving or displaced. Few have the resources to start over and most are so poor that they must rely on domestic and foreign aid to survive. The Philippines cannot even take care of itself when it comes to food and other resources now at 99million population, what more at 150 million strong? Why don’t you spend your time trying to feed the 6+ million folks affected by the typhoon instead of hoping your logic will make sense? The most economically successful countries in Asia became so WHILE they dramatically reduced their birth rates and population growth — South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia as well. Why would we buck that trend? Oh, and final hirit, China focused tremendously on EDUCATION and its students rank amongst the most highly rated in Maths/Sciences/etc. anywhere in the world. So if you can’t give up the population issue, then figure out how to properly educate our citizens who rank appallingly low on the education front.

    Nov 17, 2013 | 6:40 pm


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