Male Circumcision in the Philippines - Why the Health department requires it

Circumcision in the Barrio by elders

Photo by: Sidney Snoeck (My SARI-SARI STORE) Edited by: Travel Man
Photo by: Sidney Snoeck (My SARI-SARI STORE) Edited by: Travel Man

Boys, aging from 10 to 12 years old are getting fidgety because of the clamor to be circumsized this summer of 2011. Even some men who are getting married shyly line up for the same purpose.

The purpose of getting circumsized are:

  1.  rite of passage to teenage life
  2.  part of religion or culture
  3.  for personal hygiene purposes

Myths or Falsity about circumcision:

  • Once circumcised, the boy will be taller.
  • Avoid eating smelly foods to avoid allergies.
  • The wound will worsen if seen by girls.

Mockery of being uncircumcised usually resulted to fighting. So, boys are encouraged by their parents or even friends to undergo such procedure during summer. It's a sort of fraternity even at young age.

It also boosts their confidence and shyness fades away as the summer ends and they enter into another stage of puberty, the teenage life.

Why circumcision?

Men are heterosexual. Male circumcision is on the advocacy of the Department of Health (DOH) in order to lower STD (sexually transmitted diseases) in the country. One of the main killers of Filipino men HIV/AIDS.

Some cultures and people, especially Hebrews, circumcise babies after 9 to 12 days where keratin, of vitamin K is at its fullest where blood clotting helps to make the procedure successful.

Meanwhile, Filipino children are circumcised because it's part of the culture and for health purposes.

Doctors advise that it will benefit a boy to be clean and responsible for his well-being.During circumcision process, the foreskin is removed to lessen the sensitivity of the organ. It also exposes the male urinal tube for uninterrupted urination (without blockade). Urinary tract infection (UTI) is seldom among men who undergone circumcision.

Doctors, further advised that those boys that will undergo circumcision are ready to tackle the challenges, not forced by his friends or parents to do it.

Post-Circumcision Care

I've been circumcised when I was 12. It's just a single cut splitting the foreskin, with the help of our adult-male friend. I was submerged naked on the cold water of the creek. Then when I felt numbness on my private organ, he motioned me to fit the foreskin on the lansadera (a special form of wood usually made from guava tree) then with a single hit on the stainless labaha (knife used by barbers for shaving), the foreskin split. It was not cut; it only drooped under the penile glans. Then, I chewed some young guava leaves then it was put on the wound before the bandage was wound around it.It served as antiseptic to control infection.

In other words, the wound worsen due to the absence of doctor's help. After the first night, I immediately clean it with lukewarm boiled guava leaves. My elder brother cautioned me not to tell my sisters about it in order not to aggravate the wound; which was a fallacy.

For kids and teenagers who'll undergo the same procedure but with the doctors, here's some tips to treat your wounds properly after circumcision.

  1. During the first day, don't wet the wound. Take a pain reliever as first-aid treatment.
  2. On the second day, remove the bandage. Clean it with soap and water and wear loose pants to avoid hitting the wound.
  3. Always change the bandage, after cleaning.

. It will take a week to 10 days for the wound to heal.

You can still enjoy the remaining days of summer...renewed and ready to discover the teenage life.

Circumcision in the Philippines c/o kalanalaka

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Comments 23 comments

earthbound1974 profile image

earthbound1974 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

Young boys should go to the doctor, not with some elders, to avoid infection. It's free and they will give them free medicine, too! Avoid doing it without anesthetics.

crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

Honestly,i don't think that this is a healthy act.Gosh!this act can make innocent children and people to contact one sickness they never bargained for and beside i think this should be done when they still some days old.I think some nonsensical acts in the name of traditions should be stopped for crying out loud.I really pity those who are still blind folded in the name of culture and traditions.

travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@earthbound1974: Yes, the doctor must administer the operation.

travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@crystolite: Some doctors advise parents that if their boys don't want to be circumcised at young age, they must respect it. The boys must decide for their own future.

thesailor profile image

thesailor 5 years ago from Seven Seas

Religious belief plays a great role why men undergo circumcision. I had worked with some Indian sailors; these who have Muslim belief are circumcised while others are not.

travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@thesailor: As far as I know, Muslims are all circumcised while Orthodox Christians, like Greeks are not. I asked my Greek chief cook about it and he agreed that they're not required to undergo such procedure due to their religious belief.

TheMonk profile image

TheMonk 5 years ago from Brazil

I always wanted to know a little more about circumcision. Thanks for this hub.

travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@TheMonk. You're welcome. I hope this hub answers some of your questions. Thanks to you, too, for the hub-visit!

unknown 4 years ago

Stupid filipinos are not updated there is no differnce of being circucised or not

travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@unknown: Why would you say that if you didn't experience it? There's a lot of difference if you're circumcised. You must read this hub first before you draw your conclusion.

tom USA 4 years ago

Based upon what I learned about circumcision in the Philippines the boys are not physically forced but if they don't have it done I assume they will be rejected by women there and not likely be able to get married because it is very looked down upon to be uncircumcised. On top of that they would probably suffer merciless teasing from their peers.

Tom USA 4 years ago

One other commet I have is that you posted that one reason they remove the forekin is to lessen the sensitivity of the organ. In what way is it suppose to that that? Hopefully not to dimish sexual pleasure in the organ.

travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Tom USA: Yes, I agree that it's a peer pressure and Filipina women often reject uncircumcised boyfriends.

It's what other uncircumcised friends (on board ship as seafarers) told this hubber.

It will depend to a man if he can satiate his hunger for sexual pleasure.

(Note: Will you believe that all of us men, usually think about sex every minute of the day, even if we have jobs to do or finish? Hehe! This is another topic to be developed. What do you think?)

Glen 3 years ago

As a single man I lived in the Phillipines and dated many women there. ALL women that I encountered there expected any man they dated to be circed. The mothers of preteen boys pushed their boys to get the procedure. The women there view an uncirced man as dirty and would never have sex with him, therefore the mothers want their boys to have a tight cut with no loose skin left.

Tom USA 3 years ago

Glen I don't believe the thing about the tight cut with no loose skin. A typical Filipino circ from what I heard is mainly a dorsal slit with the remaining skin being sutured. The mothers can push their sons to be circed but they the boys still have a right to refuse to have the procedure. Besides it is always better for the boy to choose to do it when he is ready. Sooner or later he will get it done un less he is planning to leave the country

travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Glen: It's for health purposes, that's why most Filipino teenagers undergo such procedure during their adolescence. The Department of Health (DOH) annually sponsor free circumcision session in every town, city or barangay in order to accommodate boys who are entering their manhood.

travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Tom USA: Hello, Tom. Most of us here in the Philippines have dorsal slit when the circumcision process is conducted by seniors/fathers in the barrio without the necessary training. But health personnel who visit far flung areas introduce a more modern cut than just a slit of the foreskin.

MaleRights 2 years ago

Circumcision in the Phillipines is an ancient barbaric practice called Tuli time.

profile image

MaleRights 2 years ago

I've seen a film on YouTube of a traditional Phillipine circumcision on a boy of about 13. His foreskin is stretched over a round shaped piece of wood, a sharpened coconut she'll is put onto the skin, and then this is hammered with a log to produce enough force to split the skin. I think it took many blows before the foreskin split and the boy has to endure that, then endure the total removal of the foreskin with a fairly blunt sharpened coconut shell. Very painful and brutal.

travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 2 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@MaleRights: I underwent such procedure using an anvil-like wood (used by smith)made from guava tree. The blade to be used is called 'labaha' (common for Filipino barbers). First, my elder borther stretched the foreskin of my penis until it became thin and white in color. It took only one blow (smooth and light blow) and I felt nothing, until the first curing (chewed guava leaves as antiseptic). The skin was not removed, it is just splitted in order to expose the head of the organ for health reasons. It took a week to heal the wound with agua oxegenada or boiled guava leaves.

profile image

MaleRights 2 years ago

The United Nations has banned all forms of female circumcision saying that it is genital mutilation and that females are entitled to genital integrity. To that end many western countries including Australia ( where I live) , enforced laws to uphold this view. Female circumcision can be something as little as a small cut in the labia, the tales you hear about the total cutting and removal of clitoris is a very small proportion of the female circumcisions in the world. In Australia ,For anyone caught evolved in female circumcision (whether a small cut or...)no matter what their religious or cultural belief or background, heavy jail sentences apply with as many years behind bars as a murderer. Female circumcision throughout the world would not be 1% of the amount of males forced to have circumcision. About a third of male circumcisions in the world are done as babies. This may be enlightening for some. The rest are done at ages ranging from 5 to 15. Very often done by none medical people in unsanitary conditions, with crude instruments and without any form of anesthetic. They are brutal, painful assaults on young boys who cannot defend themselves, and are brought up to believe that they must submit to it, and they will not be whole ,perfect or clean until they have dirty piece of their penis removed. They very often end up infected which increase the healing time and extends the agony for weeks, sometimes leading to death. botched jobs, with too much foreskin removed ( because these people have a hatred of the foreskin and think the more they remove, the better the job). I've read stories of men that have suffered this and say that all through their lives after the circ, there erections are tight, uncomfortable and cause sexual problems.

What are people thinking when they bring a boy up to believe that he is dirty, incomplete and imperfect until he submits to having part of his penis amputated. How equal and even handed is the United Nations when it sanctions punishments for people doing that to girls, supports medical circumcision of males (through the arm of WHO), and act like they no nothing of the brutal circumcisions that happen to boys all over the world. Boys are definitely the children of the lesser god.

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MaleRights 2 years ago

A friend of mine is phillipino. He's about 40 now. I asked him about his Tuli time. He told me that last year of little school( 12 years old), all the boys at school were lined up outside a room, made into a makeshift clinic for the occasion. They went in 3 at a time, dropped their pants and lay back on some sort of bed/ table. Foreskin was retracted, a piece of tubing placed over the glands of the penis, foreskin pulled back over the tubing, and cut around with knife. Then told to jump in the river and it would help to heal.He was at the back of the que and after several minutes of hearing other boys screens of pain, and seeing their faces as they came out, he ran away. When he got home and told his family, it caused an uproar that he had run away and refused the circ. they worked on him all night telling him he must have it done. He said fortunately his parents had a little money, and the next day he was taken to a clinic, where he received what he described as a minimal amount of local anesthetic,before the cut came. I asked about infection. He said we all got infected. Healing time until comfortable. A month

MaleRights 2 years ago

Travel_ man1971. Thanks for your account. I had seen something similar and wondered why in that case there appeared to be just the single cut and the foreskin hanging? I thought I had just missed the removal part.So that's it, you still have the foreskin, it's been split along the top?

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