Hit and Run Dads and Other Scurrilous Dogs

You know, much of Philippine culture differs from Western norms.  I can deal with it fine. I may crab or write blogs, after all, I have to write about something. But I deal with it because it is my choice to be here. Smoke, rudeness,  slanderous neighbors, killer chickens, tuba drunks, cheating, religious hypocrisy, pollution, loud karaoke. Trading favors. I did that to get my house built and permitted. Hey, it’s your land, it’s my land.

So, too, are the great exchange rate, the gorgeous scenery, the friendly and warm people, the active and exotic Spanish-Asia lifestyle, and the OPPORTUNITIES that abound.
But one of the cultural “nuances” I just can’t stand is “hit and run dads.”
These are the macho guys who get a girl pregnant and then deny it or flee, abandoning the mother and the child. Or married men who shack up with an mistress and beat the wife if she complains.
Yes, yes, the girl is at fault too, never having been taught that sexual heat is different than everlasting love. And having no way, no “tools”, to succumb to the heat without getting pregnant.
The Catholic Church has these high-minded ideals that are simply humanly impractical. I’d say perverted, but that may be too strong. The idea that priests and nuns can live a lifetime without acting on sexual urges. The idea that contraceptives will encourage prostitution and abortion, as if what goes on now is virtuous, the babies conceived in dark alleys that priests deny, the dangerous abortions that take place in hidden places that priests deny. The miserably poor lives that people live, that priests deny responsibility for.
But back to the point. It is this peculiar idea of macho that drives me angry, that being sexual is something to brag about, that having a kid and getting away with it free of obligation, is something to be proud of. That being cruel is a virtue.
NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman’s father lives in the Philippines. Dad Rodman is an American who moved to the Philippines where he found the fields ripe for the kind of picking he likes to do. He has taken on the name “Philander” as if his behavior is just a joke, haha. The father brags that he has sired 29 children with 16 different women. Dennis was just one of them who did well in America playing with a big rubber ball. Emotionally and personality-wise, Dennis is a tad, ummm, unusual. Let’s just say he puts the eek in freak. I liked watching him play.
Dad Rodman is a caricature of the real Philippines, a larger-than-life being who exudes macho and lives a lifestyle that holds women and kids up as throwaway beings. He is an extreme form of malignancy who found the perfect playground in the Philippines. A place where people in need look for ways out.
I have often wondered why Filipino men don’t get more upset at the old white guys who come to their country and make off with a lot of the beautiful young women. I understand pretty well  the perspective of both the old white guys and the beautiful young women because I am the former and married the latter.
The “playing field” that Dad Rodman romps in is the same one that attracts the ancient whities to the Philippines. Filipina women of little financial means look around and see nothing but desert on the home front. The men of their class are native philanderers, adhering to standards of macho behavior that are a major put-down to a woman of who holds herself in reasonable respect.
Then a white guy comes up and politely holds the door open. And behind the door is a life. One with real food on the table and even plates and silverware, and a home to put them in. Possibly a family, small and manageable. A housekeeper to take care of the drudge. Malls and trips and, yes, the power to say to family members, yes, you can have P500, or no you can’t. A life.
If Filipino men were to complain, which they do not, I suspect women would respond back, rather sharply, “then give us a decent choice, not one where we are second class to your chickens and tuba and overbearing need to strut your manhood all around the neighborhood”.
As in all things Filipino, the solution comes from looking inward, not outward. It is a skill set largely gone missing.
But back to the point.
I don’t like that the Philippine laws and court system give women little way to hold a man to account for the responsibilities that are his. Rather, the laws hold married women in bondage to abusive macho men who beat them and brag to their buddies, or proudly tout to their friends the mistress or two tucked away around the corner. In the courts, the women are treated as criminals for wanting annulment. Grilled as if it were THEY who had committed a crime of wanting out of a dysfunctional marriage.
“Hit and run dads.”
Is that manly in your value book?
It’s not in mine.
  • Manly to me is accepting responsibility for one’s decision.
  • And it is going back before that decision to THINK about outcomes, and risks, and what might happen.
So this is one of those cases where I think Philippine culture is shitty.
It’s your culture, not mine, and it is shitty. I refuse to buy into THIS one.
You want ME to tell you what to do about it?
No, no. This is your deal entirely. You either accept it or do something about it. Or do nothing, which is the same as accepting it.
So to all those hundreds of thousands of piss-ant, dead-beat, flee-in-the-night Filipino guys I say:
  •  “You are not a man in my book of values. You are a thief, stealing lives of innocent children and the honor of women; you are a jerk, a scurrilous dog.”

26 Responses to “Hit and Run Dads and Other Scurrilous Dogs”
  1. Anonymous says:

    That stings. Pinoy Machos had it coming. Look at the Child Welfare and Woman Protection Act-a battered woman can kill her partner while he is sleeping and invoke self defense. Maybe, if the RH bill will be passed, it'll be the end of an era for Pinoy Machos. A big IF…

  2. Numerous laws have been passed in recent years dealing with women and child welfare, but they tend to deal with minor matters (breastfeeding) or represent a lot of words thrown at the issue with no real enforcement or result. In other words, they haven't done the job of liberating women from relentless abuse and neglect from the men they at one time thought they loved. The Act you refer to is probably Republic Act (R.A.) 9262, otherwise known as the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004. Thank you for the reference. It is a strongly worded Act, passed in 2004. It was good to read. Here is a link to the Chan Robles Library for other readers wishing to review the document: http://www.chanrobles.com/republicactno9262.htm#.UCh0Y53iZ1MThe problem is that poor people have no access to attorneys or even counseling, and certainly can't pay court fees.

  3. Anonymous says:

    From: Island Jim-e (aka: The Cricket)1. Nice to see you have survived "time-out"! I seethis article well stocked with good observations. Idoubt that anything we say will make a difference inhelping setting things "to right". I still have somehope that our island mis-managers will be replaced bywell educated, qualified, experienced persons of goodfaith and right action. 2. Someone once said that government and religion were made to keep us from killing one another withouta license! Perhaps the same organizations can dosomething to remedy the "passion grabbers" and bringthem to the bar of justice—but as these organizationsdon't seem to be doing a very good job I have my doubtsthat they will ever improve (as history proves).3. I have the unfortunate experience of having one ortwo of these "Hit and Run Dads" in my immediate islandfamily and have told them to take responsibility "or else"and they have made the the choice for "or-else"! 4. As for positive/responsible "role models",I think these are lacking (otherwise we would not bewitnessing such "criminal behavior")! Responsibilityhas obligations which these " hit and run-lovers" have choosen to ignore–another sign of a dysfunctional-family-legal/court-system- culture/society community which worhips and tolerates the mis-leadership of "pretty faces"! 5. The government, church and rich fat cats allows andsupports/exploits this "creation" for their own benefitand control purposes–they continue to reap the rewardsand until they start "hurting" there will be no change!6. Someone once said the GOD may have created Adam andEve but when they tasted of the "forbidden fruit" he "cast them out of the garden of delights"–gave thema limited "shelf-life", a lifetime of pain andchildren as a punishment to make them suffer fortheir bad choices and mis-behavior!7. What bothers me the most is the members of ourfamily who refuse to find employment, marry andtake responsibility for these "fruts" of theirunions keep asking for money from my wife and I to spend on "their" children!Chirp!

  4. Ah, that number seven. One of my wife's sisters married a deadbeat. She has a kid, then she splits from him when he starts gadding about irresponsibly and she is stuck with all the burdens. Then she goes back and has another kid with the same guy. Then does it again. Three kids now. In between she is demanding money from her sister (my wife) and calling her selfish because she never supplies enough.The good news is that she got an IUD inserted two weeks ago. Also, it came to me today, a light bulb moment, that the Catholic Church is a foreign power. I'll start playing on an "occupied" theme a couple of articles from now.

  5. Anonymous says:

    From: Island jim-e Question: When the ACCEPTED "norm" meetsand exceeds the "tipping point" (threshold of tolerance-balance) which a community, society, culture can and will endure, then perhaps we can expect some sort of change (if Mother does not step in and do it by thining the heard with war and disease,etc.) One of the great influence makers are the r/tv- film/video production people who arecapable of becoming a tool for "good" if they are forced to do so by a government. But thegovernment must be willing to establish a formalcode of acceptable conduct.. fund it and enforceit to make it workable program/solution..vs. being a "conspirator" and facilitator inthis crime against humanity!I pray that the island government will step up anddo the right thing before it is too late!1. When did the unacceptable become the accepted?I can well appreciate that the island tradition ofsongs, dance, passions, rituals, etc., leading toa formal wedding-marriage was a good thing for thefamily and community…but when the parents ignorethe "responsibility" (plus provide nothing butexcuses and rationalizations) the whole culturebecomes a "sewage system"!2. Where was the educators, support organizations-social welfare assocations and church when "don juan" is playing "poker" with several local "vestial virgins" and then expect them to support him!) and contributing to base line proverty!The shame of the islands has become evident withthe world exposure to the annual disaster cyclebeing so "news-worthy"! I now suppose that our "have more fun" promotion will bring more sexdevients than investors and contributors to the public well being!chirp!

  6. Cha says:

    I suppose that's what happens when the discussion on sex in society focuses on morality. If all you have to say to a young man/woman about it is that it's wrong/ it's a sin to have it when you're not married or married to someone else; then they only need to look around them to reckon you're full of B.S. They see all these men/women in church (sometimes, the priest included) living their immoral lives and they figure if they can have it, why shouldn't I?It would be of more value to view sex and discuss it as if it were another normal human activity that comes with consequences and therefore entails responsibility. The best sex education lesson my daughter got was from her Yr. 9 Science class when the teacher showed them a video of a woman going through labor and then giving birth. The first thing she said to me when she came home that day was what the heck was I thinking going through that twice. The other half of the discussion – responsibility, then follows more effortlessly.

  7. Ha! My wife decided she did not want to go through it twice.The role models on every corner are bad, now that you bring it up, from helmets to discourteous behavior. And sex, too, if the philandering that goes on in my little neighborhood is typical. My neighbor and his wife were arguing at the top of their lungs over the husband's indiscretions with his secretary, in front of their kids and everyone else within hearing range. He was bragging about what the secretary liked to do in bed.Incredible. The conservative Philippines?Role model?My neighbor is the barangay captain.

  8. Additional thought. The RH Bill has a section that mandates sex education in the schools. Talk responsibly, behave responsibly. Makes sense.

  9. Cha says:

    Yes, and the anti-RH proponents are pouncing on it, saying it is encouraging pre-marital sex. That explains the No to Safe Sex signs they were holding up during their rally. While it's so much more mature to discuss issues like these without resorting to name calling, I can't entirely fault some in the pro-RH camp for calling these people stupid.

  10. Oh, that's not name-calling. That is being a discerning observer.

  11. Joelle says:

    I love this post. It's a huge paradox in our culture. Filipinos pride themselves in being "family-oriented", yet most of our public officials exhibit this "Hit-and-run" macho attitude towards women.

  12. Joe,Good post. You approached the subject from an ethical rather than a religious/morality perspective. It's not wrong because God said it is wrong; it's wrong because humans shouldn't victimize other humans, shouldn't let innocents suffer the consequences of their need for self-assurance about their sexuality, shouldn't run away from responsibility.

  13. chohalili says:

    There we go again Mr. Joe stereotyping! dead beat man happens everywhere in the World and far worst than the Philippines! Our country had been colonized over many years, and the men were brainwashed by this colonial mechanism and lost their racial identity.But I am the daughter of my father. As far as I know Filipino culture is different from the what you portrayed Mr. Rodman. Filipino man do not flaunt their macho-ness but rather they breeze as Don Juan the legacy of the Spaniard El Indio (the bastard son) lol…romantic not savage! They are brought up gentleman and honorable rather if they have big family, to have many children is the sign of masculinity and virility (ancient belief for me)it also explains why they have mistresses. Filipino man strives not to be called under the saya (henpeck) because mostly Filipina wives are dominating and very skillful in manipulating the husband, the wife run the household and consider it her territory and the husband does not have much say. Now the culture we got from the Chinese is the concubinage, since we have so many children already wives tolerate the husband infidelity they often the one select the mistress for him as long as he bring home the bacon. I think that was the norm…the now is different it is the reverse Man are now insecure because Woman now the one in control who are bashing the Man!

  14. Anonymous says:

    You are simply childish to think the teachings of the Church are beyond attainable. Perfection is not what is asked.

  15. Glad you appreciated the article, Joelle. And you raise an interesting point that the attitude is exhibited among public officials, not just "out in the villages" where I was tending to put it. Thanks. The need to posture is itself a lie, is it not? If done by a woman or a man, it is just like a peacock flashing feathers. What is important is the deed, not the show.Good of you to visit, and comment.

  16. Thanks, MB. I like the distinction you are drawing between ethical (right vs. wrong) and moral (aligned with God). I've got to think about that some more. I'm pondering our laws, which I've been considering based on a "morality" of right vs wrong. Gotta rethink that . . . What role are we properly to assign God in our everyday rules?Leave it to you to open up a fresh can o'worms.

  17. Well thank you Ms. chohalili for knocking me upside the head, for my rampant generalizations, and for giving the subject a fine historical/cultural spin. You know the culture better than me, and your description fits what I know of fairly well-off families.Still, I know of many poor families with mothers alone struggling with children, and I rather fear the fathers are not Don Juan, but irresponsible. Kids are dumped onto grannies and aunties and uncles and the neighbor, and I somehow think this is not a good way to nurture smart, emotionally well-balanced children. Consider my perspective to be in defense of all the children who are dumped out onto the Philippines by parents who have more important things to do than care for them.

  18. Well, you raise two points: (1) the emotional maturity of JoeAm, which is not the subject of the blog, and one that I will concede at times is questionable, and (2) whether one should expect the teachings of the Church to be beyond perfection.Regarding perfection, I don't know where I said perfection was demanded. If you were to ask me, I'd say, certainly we will never be perfect, for we are graced with the human qualities of imperfection and we'll never get perfection out of people who can't know everything, can't forsee the future, and don't have perfect standards by which to life. On the other hand, we ought to STRIVE for perfection, and we ought to demand that the Church STRIVE for perfection, or what's a Jesus for?If you simply accept the errors of our ways as adequate, then we pretty much get the Philippines. So you have explained a lot to me.

  19. chohalili says:

    Hi Mr. Joe gotcha! just like you I read too many books:) the concubinage thing is the thing of the past in old China..lol if you are familiar with Pearl Buck it is one of her book "Pavilion for Women" I was fascinated with Madame Wu who fell in love with a priest while her husband was enjoying the new concubine. About Don Juan? Filipino man don't mean to hurt women it is just the trait they grow up with ego-maniacs. I am not well off I am just a crazy old woman, just a pain in the butt…believe me I will join the cause to pass the RH/bill. Haven't you being manipulated yet?:))

  20. Well, Ms. Mariko Troublemaker Wu, crazy old woman who is smarter and saner than most, and certainly young of spirit, yes . . . you got me. But your point was good, that a culture is a culture and ought to be respected for what it is, especially by an outsider who oft has no idea what he is talking about. Frankly, I respect macho in its benign form and we have in in the US with all the sports fanatics. Yes I support the RH Bill . . . it represents important change toward a progressive Philippines, even if it is bound to be problematic because it is run by government. . .

  21. andrew lim says:

    "Perfection is not what is asked. "This is typical Catholic double speak.Just when you figure out the answer, they change the question. 🙂 When they point to corruption as the cause of poverty, and you say well, the Church has been here for centuries, why do many of its followers do not obey the teachings and commit corruption? They backtrack and say, we cannot control the minds of our followers. They have free will. We are here only to remind.Of what use is that religion then, if all it can do is remind, and most of its followers choose to disobey it most of the time?

  22. Anonymous says:

    From: Island jim-e (aka: The Cricket)Question please: what good is the church, government,and parents if they do not teach/expect/demand the"right stuff" (not necessary for conformance, justgood values)?The rain is rain…hot or cold, sweet or acid, and itfalls on the just and unjust alike! When too muchrain in wrong place it produces negative results/fruits!Roll-models (irresponsible mattress jumpers)vs. good, healthy, creative- "role-models" is whatdrives a positive productive, culture no matter whatpart of the world you live in! Proverty is bad no matter what, who, how, when, whereit is and should not be allowed by a progressivesociety–but is in the PH-factor as the accepted "norm"and when it is no longer "allowed" or "tolerated" thenwe will make progress as a island nation–but not untilthat time!Right stuff in….right stuff out! Performanceand positive actions lead to positive results….(wind bags and hot air do nothing but createglobal warming which seems to be dangerous to ourhealth, community, world)!Chirp!

  23. Yes, if you can't get it right in 400 years, you ought to be declared a failure.

  24. Yes, it appears that the local community is satisfied with "the wrong stuff" because they sure put up with a lot of it.

  25. Attila says:

    Filipinos are proud of their culture. That includes not just the good part but the bad also. They will not change as long as they have this superiority complex. My wife told me that in general Filipinos like American products and money but they don't like American culture. She told me that in her experience the wife of "Kanos" will not change either. Often they just move up from the servant class to the master class and become arrogant. Any American influence from the husbands will be ignored.She doesn't see any hope for her country.

  26. Yes, it is amazing how people can move from inferior to superior so easily, if they come into some money. Not everyone, though. I think your wife is a little too pessimistic. I think things are changing with (1) Aquino's presidency, (2) the emerging power of the internet to expose misdeeds and challenge for improvement and (3) some emerging foundations for a stronger economy (call centers, casinos, tourism, stable environment to encourage foreign investment).

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