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13 Pinoy Men On Why They Don't Want To Have Kids

We're hearing it from the guys this time.

Women all over the world—especially in the Philippines!—are under a lot of pressure to make babies. But some women just aren't interested in being parents.


What about guys, though? Are they under the same kind of pressure? Are there guys who—gasp!don't want kids?

Well, yes, actually! Let's meet them: 

Jose Paolo T. Sison, 19

Extremely loud and incredibly closeted college student

Relationship status: Single

Marco Sumayao, 31                       

Freelance writer, editor, and project manager

Relationship status: In a relationship

Dante Gagelonia, 38

Homemaker, communications consultant, project manager

Relationship status: Involved

Fernando Ereneta, 27

Technology Management

Relationship status: Single

Niki Yarte, 35

Geeky advertising professional with a Peter Pan complex

Relationship status: Single

Luigi Wilwayco, 27

Has an unhealthy obsession with the number 7

Relationship status: Single

Anthony Abala, 32

Physician

Relationship status: Single

Jon Lansang, 33

Businessman

Relationship status: Single

Red Tani, 34

Advocate

Relationship status: Married

David Ryan Quibilan Tarog, 40

Eccentric and different

Relationship status: In a relationship

Miguel Hidalgo, 31

I work for the Philippine TV industry while pursuing passion for music with a band and simultaneously struggling to finish my thesis to earn my masters' degree.

Relationship status: In a relationship

Franco S. Aligaen, 25

Frustrated Voguer, Giant Homosexual

Relationship status: Single

Matt Quiros, 27

Computer programmer

Relationship status: Single


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How do you explain to people that you don't want children?

Paolo, 19: Whenever someone asks how many I want, I usually say something like "two dogs and a cat" or "Money. I want money."

Red, 34: We already have two beautiful girls who each have four legs: our 12-year-old dogs. If they press on about our human children, I tell them that my wife and I have different priorities. Raising children is an expensive, time-consuming, and overwhelming responsibility that we just don't have the will or resources to dedicate to at the moment.

Jon, 33: Kids will love you till they're teenagers, then [they’ll] hate you. And it’ll cost a lot of money to send them to a good school! A dog only needs a few months of training, and will love you forever. 

Franco, 25: Kids are ridiculously expensive and spending money on a child that'll eventually tell me to go to hell doesn't really appeal to me.

Niki, 35: I cannot bear the additional responsibility  of another human being, given that I am barely responsible for myself. I'm just the kind of person who took his time figuring out how the world works. And that I'm the last person you would want to entrust your child to.‎

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Anthony, 32: I [talk about] the financial, emotional, and psychological costs of having children. It ultimately ends up being a zero-sum game.

Marco, 31: My partner doesn't want any kids, and it's her body. A decision like this can't be anything but mutual. I might be better off helping out with children's charities than focusing all my resources on one or two kids. There's a lot more people out there who aren't getting the love they need.

Luigi, 27: I just straight-up tell them that I don't plan on having any kids now, and in the foreseeable future. I don't need to have children to be able to live a full life. I find happiness in other things I do, and being with people I deem dear.

David, 40: For me, a lot of children are annoying, although quiet ones are tolerable. I value my peace and quiet. I prefer to focus on raising myself to be the best me that I can possibly be.

Matt, 27: I really enjoy being alone. I like having my place to myself, having full control of my time, the freedom to make life-changing decisions at no one's expense, and buying myself nice things. It's the freedom I've always wanted. Besides, I really value education, and I could never forgive myself for spawning offspring that I can't send to really good schools, which are expensive.


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How do people react when you say you don't want kids?

Anthony, 32: I've been told with annoying condescension that "It's a blessing!" or "Iba talaga kapag may anak ka na!" or whatever. They basically make the same point for having a pet! At least dogs are less emotionally needy.

Jon, 33: Most people say that it's either because I'm single, or that I'll love them when I have my own. But no. I love my pamangkins, and they're great! And I'm sure your kids are, too. But the thought of having to take care of one 24/7 and changing diapers just doesn't hold any appeal for me.

David, 40: From "Why not?" to the "OMG what is wrong with you? You are already so and so years old!" My response is simple: "I prefer it that way. You are entitled to your opinion, as I am to mine." Then I make a mental note to stay away from these people.

Fer, 27: I've been called a selfish person for not wanting to make sacrifices for others. [They do] not understand my position: I believe it is selfish and irresponsible to sire a child without being able to provide him or her with every advantage in life.

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Red, 34: They say that we'd make wonderful parents, that our child would be both beautiful and smart, and that not having a child would be such a waste. But the world already has more than enough beautiful and smart kids, and especially considering climate change, having even one more is hardly justified by good genes or good parenting.

Marco, 31: It's usually just, "Oh, okay." Like, there's no real pressure for me to have kids. At least, no one's saying it to my face. I feel like there's just less pressure on guys in general, because we technically don't have a biological time limit, so there's a little bit of male privilege (ugh) at play here. What I've noticed, though, is that guys get more pressure to have kids the moment they get married. So maybe my experience will change if or when I tie the knot? That'll be fun.

Matt, 27: People are quite supportive, even encouraging. I don't know what it's like for women, but it seems that today's society has a fetish for men who wade through their adulthood an uncommitted bachelor.

Jon, 33: I honestly don't feel any pressure, and can usually just laugh it off. [But] my normally conservative dad who loves babies has (jokingly?) implied that he wouldn't mind if I got a girl pregnant because he wants more grandkids.

Miguel, 31: I have had the "Kailan mo na ba 'yan pakakasalan?" questions from my mom in the past. 

Paolo, 19: My peers' reactions are usually either "Same" or "Oh yeah I get you," followed by an explanation of how many they want and why. With older people, they're usually concerned-ish, and I get that cringe-worthy "Sayang naman."

Dante, 38: Some people are surprised, but most are generally pretty chill about it. I suppose that’s a factor of the friends I choose and the company I keep. I don't imagine my preference would be received well by people who can't see any other kind of life outside of raising a family, and I'm not likely to spend time with people who would be aggressively closed-minded about it.


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What advice would you offer to other people who are criticized for not wanting kids?

Paolo, 19: Honestly, just don't give a f*ck. It's your life. In the words of RuPaul's mother, "If they ain't payin' your bills, pay them bitches no mind." There's no point letting someone else's view on something as personal a decision as having kids affect you.

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Franco, 25: Just own it. Have a take-no-BS stance on it. They'll learn to back off.

Luigi, 27Everyone has their reasons for not wanting kids. Don't give in to peer pressure at the expense of what truly makes you happy.

Red, 34: Don't let peer pressure, however normalized by society, lead you into making major life decisions by default. Having kids will have a major impact on your life, and it is a decision you and your partner alone should make, based on reasons that matter to you, not to other people.

Marco, 31: Those people aren't in control of your body. They're not the ones in your relationship. They don't know the context you and your partner are coming from, or why not having kids is the choice that makes the most sense to you. You can try to help them see where you're coming from, and if it works, that's great! But there will be people who still won't be able to understand. You just have to accept that and continue living to live your life the way you choose.

Dante, 38: Our culture is very firmly entrenched in having children as the ultimate definition of #lifegoals, so for many people, not wanting kids can come across as a totally alien concept. While some may be judgmental about it, most are just unsure about how to deal with such a departure from what they were raised to believe. If you want people to understand and respect your choice, be respectful to them too while also being adamant. Just avoid or manage conflict when you can, especially with your own family, and never lose faith in your choice.

Fer, 27: Criticism from those close to us, whether family, friend, or mentor, stems from genuine concern—and remembering that lessens the sting. In the end, it is still your decision to make. Criticism from anyone else should not matter.

Miguel, 31: If I had to give advice, I'd say that people in general like to criticize and that's okay. But we can choose what we listen to and what we ignore. If you've already decided that you want kids, then this shouldn't be an issue. Let the people talk. You're in charge of your life.

Matt, 27: Pasok sa isang tainga, labas sa kabila. The criticism will always come from people who are least qualified to give life advice, either because they have limited life experiences themselves, or they know nothing about you. 'Pag 'di natahimik, sabihin mo na lang inaalay mo ang buhay mo kay God. That always works.

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Niki, 35: Be free! But I think you have to be completely honest with yourself about the why's.

David, 40: Be yourself and be true to yourself. Love and respect yourself enough to say no to a world that values conformity, if your genuine desire runs against the norm.


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How do you feel about the social expectations and assumptions that you should have kids?

Marco, 31: It feels like these come from people who think having a family is the end-all and be-all of human existence, when it really isn't. I feel like my role in shaping the future is different, and that's okay, too. We all just have to accept the fact that different people have different plans for themselves, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Anthony, 32Sige, bigyan mo ako ng bayad para pakainin at paaralin 'yan ha.

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Paolo, 19: I'm frustrated with the idea that kids are a necessity, or something that people should want. There are so many irresponsible and incompetent parents that produce equally problematic people, and I don't know if these people actually think past "I'm going to have kids 'cause I want to and because I can." I feel like there isn't enough of a discussion, especially in this country, over when someone is or isn't qualified or ready to have kids.

Miguel, 31: You can make a difference in the world by making metaphorical children—works of art, a business, accomplishments, you name it. You can have students or apprentices who would be somewhat like your own kids. I know my teachers did that for me, and I felt the same when I mentored people younger than myself.

Red, 34: Mostly I've been told that when you have a kid, all of the things you worry about—money, time, etc.—will magically take care of themselves. "God will find a way." I feel that such an attitude is grossly irresponsible, and has terrible consequences for both society and the environment—not to mention the children who are raised by parents who have misplaced confidence in magic or God. I have respect for people who do choose to have kids, and admire those who do an excellent job at it. But my partner and I feel that we can better contribute to society in other ways—like our work in advocacy and activism—and having children shouldn't be seen as the best or only way a couple can be good citizens.
How do you respond to the questions: "Baog ka ba?", "Bakla ka ba?", "Can't you find a nice girl to settle down with?" and "Who's going to take care of you when you get old?"

Marco, 31: I don't think kids should be seen as retirement plans. That's not fair to them. It's kind of like an arranged marriage, in a way, where your adult life has already been determined for you. I'm taking care of my mom in her old age because I love her, but not because I'm obliged to. That's how it should work: zero expectations, but with unconditional love.

Paolo, 19That question ("Bakla ka ba?") rarely comes up, especially with regards to having kids, cause I'm pretty out proud. The few people who've asked me were legitimately clueless about my sexuality, but it was still pretty offensive. I try to calmly explain that first, I am gay, second, that what they said is offensive regardless of intention, and finally third, that sexual preference doesn't really matter when it comes to wanting kids.

Matt, 27: My mom asked me, "Who's going to take care of you when you get old?", and I just said that I'm building my life responsibly so that I can afford to hire a nurse or pay for the services of an elderly home. That's probably what my children will end up doing anyway. As for the others, I've only ever had close friends ask and I don't take offense. I don't assume that they care enough and I just think that they ask for the sake of asking. Everyone else, I make sure they're too intimidated to ask personal questions.

Marco, 31That's unfair to gay people who want kids of their own. Parental callings aren't determined by one's orientation.