Here is an excerpt from one of my documents describing how I came to know a family friend’s son, way back in 2012:

For as long as I could remember (around the same time my La Salle obsession started, or earlier), I wondered why circumcision among male tweens as our rite of passage to manhood was one aspect of Filipino life that has survived through time, despite the efforts of other cultures that had influenced us to reduce its significance. Yet one question remained: what about Filipinos who migrated abroad and had their sons there? Unfortunately, I had not too many samples to work with at the time I started my curiosity, and their parents were mahiyain to tell me the truth.

Even today, I still have that curiosity in me despite circumcision in male newborns being almost a taboo topic in American society by now, with parents sometimes gravitating towards the intact status, which seems lifelong to me.

In 2019, I made some short stories (more like statements actually) intended for Filipino-American children (these also apply to Filipino immigrants’ children born abroad.) I am only publishing the series now because I mistakenly thought that the web might be hypersensitive about these statements. Here you go, this is the second one… the first is here.


I do not know about you, your culture or your family tradition, but in the culture I grew up in, we place and value a tradition as a means of passage to adolescence.

I assume that your parents had this done on you a day or within a week after you were born. Many people here, or I should say back home, say that this period is too early for the tradition. Yet many of your fellowmen who migrated before they hit the “right” age for the tradition remain “intact”, sometimes forgetting the tradition at all.

The “cover” means innocence and immaturity. Tradition says that when the “cover” is removed as the rite of passage is performed, a boy has become a young man.

But there are some “rebels” here who oppose this tradition, remaining “intact” until some point later in their lives or for the rest of their lives.

The rite of passage is a tradition that should last forever, so stable that not even outside influences can trample it.

Advertisement