A week has passed since I wrote a post regarding Manny Pacquiao and his statement. I felt like a second take on the matter would be perfect so I would be able to share new insight and opinions about it.
First of all, let me say that I applaud Manny for sticking firmly to his belief and saying it on national TV. It takes a lot to be able to do that, especially after all the backlash this controversy caused him. However, as a woman living in the modern world, I am not impressed nor do I agree with his sentiments. Having said all of that, I tried to look at the other side of the coin and try to scratch the surface as to why (some) Filipinos still do not accept/are not as open to the LGBT.
The Philippines lack the capacity to understand LGBT and everything under that umbrella. The reasons are simple.
1- The Philippines is an archipelago. This means that there are a lot of people who aren’t as “modern” as the others and who do not encounter the LGBT on a regular basis. This would result to different ideologies for different groups of people in different islands.
An archipelago is a group of islands closely scattered in a body of water. Usually, this body of water is the ocean, but it can also be a lake or river. –Nat Geo
2 – There are only a handful of modern cities in the Philippines. Manila being it’s capital has the most capacity to understand LGBT but other smaller cities, especially those in the islands, would prove to be difficult. Ideas like same-sex marriage might still be taboo to others. Just think of all the Filipinos in the provinces who aren’t as exposed to these concepts.
3 – Religion is important. This is the biggest hurdle that Filipinos face. As a nation, religion is something very important and it is considered as a building block of society. Take note that even if the Pope himself is more open/modern, some are just stuck in the past. That’s okay, but that doesn’t help the whole LGBT community. As the saying goes, you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.
The U. S. Department of State International Religious Freedom (IRF) report for 2012, citing a year 2000 survey from the Philippine Statistics Authority, reports that 80-85% of Filipinos were then Roman Catholics, with 93% being Christian, and that 5% of the population was thenIslamic.The 2012 IRF report also reports that an estimate by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) in 2011 stated that there were then 10.3 million Muslims, or about 11 percent of the total population. –Wikipedia
4 – Lastly, Filipinos are just not ready. There might be a lot if underlying reasons as to why Filipinos aren’t ready and it might take too long to discuss it all. But the fact still remains that as a nation, the Philippines is not as accepting as I wish it was. I will always remember my friend who wants nothing more but to come out into the open about his sexuality. He is scared because his parents will not like it and because society does not accept it. I pity him because all he wants is to be loved and accepted.