PRESIDENT Noynoy Aquino disappointed me yesterday by not mentioning something of great national importance: breastfeeding. I don’t mind him talking about corruption and wang-wang issues, but I expected him to at least open his Sona by saying, “Wala nang hihigit pa sa gatas ng ina.” Or, “Salamat sa gatas mo inay at akoy naging pangulo,” or if he wanted something more brief and catchy, “Gatas ng ina, ikaw na!”

Or, since our beloved senators and congressmen were there, the President could have adlibbed by saying, “Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly and for the same reason.” And then segue into “Ang batang lumaki sa gatas ng kalabaw ay jeprox at laki sa layaw.”

But he didn’t, so he missed the rare chance of delivering what could have been this country’s most memorable Sona.

I wonder how the relevance escaped the President. July is Breastfeeding Month. Have you seen those exhibits at the mall displaying photos of young moms nursing their babies and… What? No! Those are not pornography, you idiot!

See? That’s an example of how breasts are viewed upon in this country. I had to buy my wife a nursing cover to protect her from the eyes of men, and women, who see not milk in breasts but Pamela Anderson, or whoever has replaced her throne as Binibining Papaya Hollywood.

Once in a restaurant, I almost got into a fight after I told a man at the next table, “Hey, you’re staring at my baby’s lunch!”

It’s a global issue. I heard there have been skirmishes between breastfeeding moms and Facebook over the latter’s removal of pages dedicated to breastfeeding, with thousands

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of women all over the world taking up the cause against the popular networking site.

Facebook said the pages violated its Terms of Use, especially on obscenity. I’m not familiar with the issue, but I believe girls taking duckface photos of themselves in the mirror look so stupid they become more offensive than photos of breastfeeding moms.

Back here in Cebu, it’s surprising how even some moms in our slum areas don’t breastfeed their babies even if they can. Nurse Eleanor Bernal, who takes care of our child during his regular visits to the barangay health center in Basak-San Nicolas, said, “Aron ingnon nga naay kwarta ikapalit og gatas (To show off to their neighbors that they can afford formula milk).”

Another reason cited is equally stupid: “Mahadlok biyaan sa ilang bana kay yatyat na sila’g totoy (They’re afraid their husbands might leave them because they have saggy breasts)!”

Had I been tweeting that time, I would have said, “WTF!” Let those men go. I mean, what kind of a husband is he who leaves his wife because his very own cute little baby has made pancakes out of his wife’s breasts? A mother nursing her child is a lovely sight. I would grow man-boobs anytime just to experience the kind of bonding my wife and our baby enjoy between them.

We are familiar with all the benefits of breastfeeding because we’re taught about them during our prenatal sessions. But if you still insist on feeding your child with cow’s milk, then brace yourself for the consequence because your kid will definitely grow up to be a cow politician.

And guys, what’s wrong with pancakes?

 

(SUN.STAR, JULY 26, 2011)