Women, Sex and Animism: An Anecdote

In one of the retreats I attended some weeks ago we have discussed the concepts of ecozoic era and its personal, academic and its institutional impact and one of the highlights talked about was the early Filipino practice of animism – historical accounts show that pre-colonial Filipinos believed that there were spirits not only in humans but also in inanimate objects around us.

The core of the discussion centered on the structure and function of believing in spirits in relation to respecting our environment that the animist’s belief in the spirits that dwells in trees, rivers, stones etc. performed a function, that is to protect these inanimate subjects from exploiting and abusing them.

The retreat house was surrounded by lush greeneries, gentle breeze, cold weather, and away from the beeps and honks of the city life.

The group had lunch together. While on the table, it’s a typical ‘pinoy’ (jargon for Filipino) eating set-up, talking just about anything while eating, out of the blue one of our seasoned male companion said, where’s the comfort room? And then one lady at the other table said, oh somebody is still inside, if you can’t hold on it you can release it in one of trees outside, anyway, nobody’s there to see you. And then everybody began sharing stories about early ‘pinoy’ practice of animism.

One lady said, can you remember in your younger years when grandmothers and grandfathers would tell you not to urinate anywhere, especially at night because you might pee on somebody not like ours? Remember to say, tabi-tabi po! (Excuse me) as a gesture of respect to these creatures. And then this man, feeling uneasy said, I’ll just hold on it those creatures might prod on my p___ and it might swell, my wife’s going to get mad at me, and everybody went laughing. At a distance this naughty math teacher shouted … No, no, no! Your wife won’t get mad, she will even tell you to go back and pee here again, they prefer swollen p_____, all the men in the room laughed and in chorus said …. Now that served another function.

1 comment:

  1. I think our culture exaggerates the differences. Just look at the media, we are flooded with stereotypical images 24 hours a day. Ugh! It's one of the reason I watch very little TV. This contributes to a battle of the sexes as it were. Instead of looking at your mate as a person, you look at them as "the opposite".


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