I could’ve uttered the words, “Oh, my virgin eyes!” at a tender age of four had I known how to speak English back then. My story might shock moralists, and may even judge my mother and crucify her for exposing me to such kind of pornography; while hormone-raged teenagers under eighteen might envy me and say how cool my mom is for bringing me to such, wonderful (?) place, a number of times.

Let’s start. What’s the first thing that comes in your mind when you hear the song “Wonderful Tonight”? Probably love? JS prom? Someone’s theme song perhaps? For me, the first thing that comes into my mind are poles, smog, that awful stench from beer and cigarette smoke, big grotesque-looking guys with bellies you could mistook for a six-month old baby bump, cheap-looking blinking lights, and girls, dancing and grinding to that tune, while stripping their bodies off of that skimpy swimsuits. Oh, yes, the insides of a cheap beerhouse, invaded by a young, innocent child. Now, you might ask, what kind of sick parents do I have?

Before you go crucify my mom or burn her at stake, I would first like to tell you how I did get there in the first place. See, my parents own a small ice delivery business. We sell blocks, crushed, tubes, cubes and cracked ice to the neighborhood, and even to nearby schools, carinderias, sari-sari stores, and yes, to cheap neighboring beerhouses. Every afternoon, our delivery boy would bring in ice to these places, and since it’s still early to pay and customers come in at night, obviously, my mother would be the one to come back and get the payment at night, when the cash starts to flow. And I would tag along and while mom gets the money, I wonder and watch as these girls show to the rest of the world everything they have, every single night.

And, oh, it’s not just me; my sister too, had been there hundreds of times that when she was still young, she said she would one day grow up and become a “Japayuki”.

Now I know you’re picturing me now as a teenager who since had saw lewd scenes countless of times, I might as well be a stripper myself, that, or I’m twenty-one, out of school, unemployed, with three kids, my eldest aging five. You’re right about three things there, I’m twenty-one, out of school, because I graduated from a reputable state university, thank you very much, and I’m recently unemployed. But no, I’m not nuts to even get myself pregnant at fifteen, and have three mouths to feed at twenty-one.

Now, what’s my point? I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the current situation of our country with regards to the reproductive health bill, as it is one of the major problems in the land today, as stressed out by Sir Howie Severino via GMA 7’s “Kandidato” and his documentary “Papa, Papa, Paano Ko Ginawa?” and I think that I’ve found a viable answer to our worsening teenage pregnancy problem. No, I’m not saying let’s bring all our kids at Pegasus so they could watch girls stripped and men ogle their goodies and corrupt their minds, I’m saying let’s not keep the information from them. Sooner or later they’ll find out about it, or they’re going to find answers on their own. Who knows, they might even experiment on it and voila! nine months later, a new baby is born.

I remember my parents not giving us “the talk”, it’s really not the norm here in the Philippines to have that, parents are scared from having that talk. But mine did it in a different way, like my mom and I taking a bath together, and I see what a grown female body looks like, minus the stretch marks, (sorry, mom!), or that I always see my parents sharing a kiss (that’s a smack, fyi) or that if I do have questions, they answer and talk to me like I’m an adult. They did not tell me about “birdies” and “flowers”, nor when a girl and a boy kissed, the girl gets pregnant crap. Plus I’ve learned about condoms and pills in elementary. It was so cool, by the way, because I totally feel like we’re on equal grounds, but in the end, my mom always tells me pieces of advice that I took by heart.

All I’m saying is if we keep everything to the little ones, or that we do not talk about it, they will find someone who would tell that to them, be it sexy music videos, adult magazines or even try it out themselves. I think its better that it will come right out of our mouths. At least we know what and what not to say at a certain time.

It all boils down as to how parents do it with their kids, I’m not saying you expose them to such things like what my parents did, ours is a special case. The secret? Know what your kid is doing, communicate with them, and be their friend, like how my parents did. Now you’re saying what do you know? You’re not a parent. Exactly, I’m not. I’m on the other side of the wall, so I know how every kid like me on the other side of the wall thinks.

What was that saying again? Ah, curiosity killed the cat.

Cat, my sister, if you’re wondering by the way, did not pursue her “dream” of becoming a “Japayuki”. She’s on third year now, one of the brightest in her class, and we’re both virgins by the way. Shh, don’t tell her I tell.