Sunday, June 7, 2009
Advocating RR and LGBTQIC Among Aeta women
I had a three-day training lately with 30 Aeta women of Zambales. Some of them were not indigenous-looking anymore because there had been intermarriages (some with Bicolanos). (And these 'new' generation looked like 'latinas'!) My session began with me drawing two naked women on the board. Then, there was a remark that the breasts were not of equal size. To the delight and laughter of everybody, one woman named Indon Pusarit (mother of Pusarit) raised her blouse and curiously looked at her breasts if they were really unequal. Yes, the woman was totally uninhibited with her body. Then, I asked them to name the part that they liked most and that which ached most. Another indigenous woman pointed to her vagina as the part she liked most and so the group laughed even louder...But the part which ached most for most of them was their "puson" (near the vaginal area) because of UTI. So, I found out that it was due to 'unsafe' intercourse with their husbands. Another interesting revelation was they have a sambal term for 'clitoris' (the most pleasurable part of our body), they call it "tenden". Another important idea was they have 'divorce'. They can separate from their husbands if they want to even if there is no 'grave' reason (e.g. battering, non-supportive, etc). The only condition is to return the dowry that their husbands paid to their parents which ranged from P50,000 to P100,00 (installment). Aeta women's sexuality proved to be exciting. Though most of them marry early and had more number of children at an early age. Lastly, a gay teenager (who is one of our facilitators and a product of intermarriage) showed me pictures of their Youth Camp. There I saw her "barkadas" of IP gay teenagers. She said she was 'out' to them but not to a bigger group. Last year, they held 'Miss Gay' activity with a twist by depicting issues in the community. But four years ago, their leader boldly said that there are no gays among their tribes. Truly, continuous advocacy really made a difference!