Which is More Liberal?

July 18, 2007

Despite the obvious differences between Manila and my city, I must say that in some ways my city has more liberal tendencies. It’s a no contest to declare Manila as the winner for her tall buildings, big malls, and obviously massive population. Yet despite my city’s diminutive aspects, it can not so rightly boast a more liberal stance (at least on the youth.) on some matters, particularly abortion.

Abortion is illegal in the Philippines. Punishment for it include fines and jail time, but to my knowledge none has never been convicted of it. This, however, does not mean that it is not practiced here. A girl has only to go to an herbalist/quack doctor or manggagamot, and she’ll get the concoction or massage to remove unwanted “accidents”. She could even buy the “prescription” herself. These are labeled euphemistically as pamaparegla (Trans: Menstruation inducers), which she can get if she happens to pass by vendors lining them in front of large Catholic cathedrals.*

The practices mentioned above form the traditional methods of Philippine abortion. It is what is implied in the media, and known by the public. They are what I think is commonly practiced in Manila, and this is where my city and Manila differ.

In here, rumors abound about a drug that can remove “accidents”. I don’t know anybody who has tried it. Heck. I wouldn’t know it even if they had because I don’t think they’d feel comfortable opening that topic to me. So the stories that I’ve heard are second to third hand information. They’re related to stories of the cousin of the friend of a classmate.

Nevertheless, these stories are complete with details regarding dosage, point of entries, and side effects. It makes me wonder how it became that popular. It’s supposed to be a prescription drug, but its ubiquitous fame (at least, among the youth) makes it seem like an OTC.

Of course I cannot verify these stories. They could well have been just urban legends, and my city would just have one more category lost to Manila.

*I’m not saying that Catholic priests endorse that practice here, and I wouldn’t know if they rebuke those vendors because I’m Protestant and therefore do not attend Mass.

PS I’m not telling what drug it is. It wouldn’t be right. I am, after all, anti-abortion.

PPS It could also mean that I didn’t mingle with the more liberal Manila population to learn if they knew about this drug. I am, however, sure that Cebu people know about this. I guess the Bisaya just beat Tagalogs at this.



  1. Your ignorance of something does not prove its absence. Manila is probably the most liberal city in this country kuya, especially if we are talking about abortions; it is illegal that’s why it’s done in secret and that’s why we do not know.

  2. yep, exactly. See last paragraph before footnote and Post scripts.

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