ICCB's Involvements in Brief
The International Catholic Child Bureau (ICCB) began working on the issue of child prostitution some ten years back as a response to the request of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Trafficking of Persons and the Exploitation of Others. Some time later, ICCB published Children and Pornography with the UNESCO's support. Since then, ICCB has worked in the field of sexual exploitation of children implementing regional and national programmes of training and research in West Africa and Latin America. In 1988 to 1989, ICCB carried out a survey of existing projects and services for these children. In this survey, many field workers have expressed a great concern on the psychosocial needs of these children and the lack of interventions that would connect in a more meaningful way to their needs.
In the late 80's, Ms. Margaret Mc Callin, former director of the ICCB Refugee Children's Programme, developed a programme that responds to the psychosocial needs of the children and their communities and was subsequently implemented in some parts of Asia. This programme has gained enormous positive responses and requests both among NGOs and governments in West Africa and in some parts of the Asian region. Along this theme, ICCB has then worked in partnership with several agencies and NGOs, i.e., Redd Barna, Save the Children Fund (USA), the Community and Family Services International and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
In all its interventions, ICCB has emphasized sensitivity and respect to the child's inner world through active listening (listening not only to what is said but more importantly to what is not said) and giving due consideration to the child's and community's right to participation in the intervention processes.
"An Action-Research and Intervention Programme to Create a Child-Focused Environment for Children with Experiences in Prostitution" was conceptualized to fulfill the child's developmental needs and to effect recovery and re-integration to normal life. It also emphasized that every effort should be made to avoid an institutional approach but as much as possible replicate a family-like environment. It has given stress on understanding the situation of the children and the effects of their difficult situations within the context of their on-going developmental processes.
The Need for an In-Depth Study
of Children in Prostitution
For the past ten years, the problem of child prostitution has caught the attention of concerned people in Asia and other parts of the world. Research studies have been conducted, articles and books have been written, life stories have been documented and made into documentary films and movies. These were the stories of the plight of the children and the intricacies of their trade.
Inspite all of the attention and the growing interest of these people on the issue of child prostitution, the problem seems to have worsen in the past years. Statistics showed that a number of children in prostitution had seriously increased. Rehabilitation efforts and other initiatives, however, do not seem to have the desired impact on them.
Economic, socio-political and cultural factors were identified and examined to explain this phenomenon. Specifically, poverty, the tourism industry, industrialization and urbanization, corruption and trafficking, change in values (i.e., increasing materialism which is probably brought about by the influence of media and technology) and the breakdown of family, were among those reported as causes of child prostitution, particularly, in the Philippines.
Amid all the combined efforts of the government and NGOs to curb child prostitution and alleviate its effects, very little has been done in terms of looking at the problem from the prostituted child's point of view. What is happening inside them? What are their thoughts and feelings about their experiences? How do they make sense of their life situations? What are their ways of contending with difficulties? What are their strengths and resources, when if utilized and supported can help them help themselves?
There have been so many studies done and reported but hardly any systematic research about the inner life of the child in prostitution has ever been executed. This study, therefore, aims to focus primarily on the "person of the child" and to "enter their inner world," and in the process, arrive at some answers to the above questions. A deeper understanding of the inner life of the child can help us formulate intervention strategies that would link more closely to them and eventually answer their innermost psychological needs, dreams and aspirations.
THE PROJECT "An Action-Research and Intervention Programme to Create a Child-Focused Environment for Children with Experiences in Prostitution."
With the ICCB's experience in this programme and as a response to the expressed needs in the field, ICCB, in coordination with it's Philippine-based consultant Dr. Lourdes Carandang and the Greenhills Creative Child Research Team developed "An Action-Research and Intervention Program to Create a Child-Focused Environment for Children with Experiences in Prostitution." This project aims to alleviate the effects of child prostitution by understanding their experiences and needs--from the children's own point of view. It consists of three phases:
Phase One: Action-Research entitled: "The Child's Inner and Outer World: A Study of the Phenomenology of the Child in Prostitution." This also contains the Literature Review and Survey of intervention Strategies in the Field.
Phase Two: Training-Workshop - "Understanding the Inner World of the Child and Exploring Ways to Help Them."
Phase Three: Monitoring and Evaluation - This consists of development of measures for monitoring and evaluating policies and intervention of participating agencies.
Review of Related Literature
It was necessary to understand the prostituted child more fully and more intimately before we can truly be of help. Thus, we will look into what has been done and written about the prostituted child and what intervention and other strategies were implemented and are now being implemented in the context of the larger society.
In line with the main thrust of the study, the review of related literature aims to do the following:
Focus on what has been written about the experience of Filipino child victims of prostitution and the impact of the experience on them. What does the experience mean to them? How were they initiated into it? What do they say about themselves, their managers, clients, parents, peers and their work? How has the experience of prostitution affected their way of thinking, feeling and believing? What are they doing to cope with the scars left by the job.
Situate the prostituted child in the context of their families and communities and the larger Asian perspective.
Look into the "current helps and services" to present a review of current intervention strategies and techniques being applied in the Philippines as well as other Asian nations. What is generally being done to respond to the problem of sexual exploitation among children? What needs of the child do current intervention programs primarily address? How are these programs received and perceived by the children themselves?
Finally, point out existing gaps in the present knowledge and information we have. What are the gaps in current intervention methods that do not make rehabilitation efforts work well for the children? What do we know now and what more do we need to know about what is being done?
This review was drawn from various sources of information. In presenting the child as part of a larger context (i.e., other Asian nations, community and family), mostly, news and magazine articles coupled with some project reports were cited. Two masteral theses, magazine articles and books were quoted for the data on the child's inner experience of prostitution. Project reports, journal articles and other systematic studies were referred to in terms of current intervention methods being applied. Finally, a book and some articles authored by some members of the research team were included to introduce alternatives to care-giving both for the children as well as for caregivers themselves.
State of Child Prostitution
The Story of Ana
"I am seventeen years old and this is my story. My life is so troubled, I go from one place to another, I work from one place to another... and I am abused from one place to another. My mother dislikes me. She thinks I am too stubborn. To my understanding, she brought me to a juvenile home to be disciplined but she told the social workers that she is giving me away because she couldn't feed her children anymore. In no time at all, I escaped from that place. I went to my aunt who sent me to work as a housemaid in her friend's place. It's in there that I had my first sexual experience. My sister's brother-in-law raped me. I told about it to my aunt but she disregarded the idea and even told me that it was only a product of my fantasy. I left my employer and went on my own. One night, I found myself dancing at the club at the tender age of eleven. It was a better life for me until the club's owner abuses me sexually. Again, I left. I transferred from one place to another. I hopped from one club to another...in the red-light district of Manila. I was in one of the local clubs when I had an experience of a police raid. We were brought to the city jail donned only in our bikinis. While in there, one police officer had sex with me. This, I did to bail myself out. For many years now, my life has been a series of hits and misses. I have had different kinds of customers---foreigners and Filipinos alike. I tried to commit suicide but it didn't worked out so I turned to drugs. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. I want to die before my next birthday."
These powerful words from a prostituted child are echoed by over 60,000 children victims of prostitution all over the Philippines.
How do they perceive themselves, their families, peers, managers, clients and the work they do? The information that follows was based on statements coming from the children themselves.
1. Attitudes toward self
An in-depth study on sexually abused streetchildren, conducted by UNICEF and undertaken by Carandang, Gonzales and dela Paz (1993), reported that abused children expressed a sense of helplessness, of being "frozen", "stiff" and "incapacitated". The girls saw themselves as weak, powerless but often trying to appear tough. The boys, on the other hand, saw themselves as "small" and overwhelmed by people, the harsh reality of their lives and the violence all around them. According to the same source, feelings of inferiority as reflected in self descriptions such as "smelling bad" and pitiful, were also expressed by the boys. Not all of them are prostituted children.
In a study comparing sexually-exploited children with streetchildren, Samson (1987) noted that the experience of sexual exploitation had created a difference in self-concept between these two groups. Sexually-exploited children thought that the skills brought about by their experience in sexual contacts were connected to their idea of sexual prowess. On the other hand, these children felt unworthy and sinful. While streetchildren . (for ICCB to provide comparison)
In contrast to these findings, Fernandez (1984) found out that the feelings of guilt among child victims of prostitution were scarce. In her study, the children expressed their desire to go on with prostitution as if it is socially acceptable. She quoted one "call boy" saying, " Walang masama sa call boy, magtinda ka man o matulog dito sa labas, huhulihin ka rin, eh, di mag call boy na lang. Di naman sila ang nadudumihan." ("There's nothing wrong with being a call boy, selling goods or sleeping on the streets makes no difference--I will be caught or picked up anyway. It's better to be a call boy, it's me who gets lewd and not them.") According to the same source, many of the prostituted children became self-assured and self-sufficient because of their early experience in earning on their own without the assistance of adults. This view was shared by the social workers in the field. One social worker at Caritas-Manila said, "A lot of them just don't see anything wrong or shameful with what they're doing." (Sarmiento, 1988).
2. Attitudes toward family
Although a few of these children have had positive experiences with their parents, generally, sexually-abused children have been found to be holding negative opinions about their parents, most specially the fathers (Samson, 1987; Childhope, 1989; Carandang, et. al., 1993). Particularly, father-child relations have been characterized as severe and lacking in affection ("My father beats us, he is harsh."; "My father tied me and beat me up several times." Childhope, 1989). Fathers have been generally perceived as unreliable, irresponsible, heavy drinkers and womanizers. It was found out that commonly, parents practiced the power-assertive and authoritative style of parenting (Samson, 1987). Thus, it is not uncommon to find documented reports of children "stowing away" from home because of rejecting, punitive and harsh parents.
Most of the girls in a Childhope study (1989) admitted that their parents are now living with new partners. They recalled experiences where parents had much bickering and fights over money, children's schooling, the man's vices, work and jealousy, among others. They have witnessed their mothers being physically abused. They reminisce seeing their parents barely exchanging even the smallest of affection. The children, generally, feel sorry and unhappy about their parents' relationship. One, even remarked, "We have forgotten how it is to laugh in this house."
3. Attitudes toward pimps/mama-sans
For some children, pimps, managers, or mama-sans serve as substitutes for mothers or siblings. At first, fear of abandonment attaches them to these authority figures. Lilibeth (Lee,1988) says that the first time she was given a client, "Hindi ako lumaban dahil siyempre, takot ka sa bugaw...'di mo alam ang pauwi sa Cebu." ("I did not fight back...I was afraid of the pimp...I also did not know how to go home to Cebu [a southern province in the Philippines].)
Pimps and mama-sans are viewed as providers of emotional as well as material needs: "Kung hindi sa kaniya, namatay na ako sa gutom." ("If it were not for her, I would have died of hunger." Lee, 1988). Despite the circumstances, children keep a moderately close relationship with them. They have found surrogate parents in the person of their mama-sans and pimps. In the absence of effective parental role models, these children have only these people to identify with (Samson, 1987).
4. Attitudes toward clients
Generally, prostituted children have looked upon their clients as mere sources of money and other luxuries. They prefer going out with foreigners because foreigners pay much. Accordingly, boys claim to disdain Filipino homosexuals while at the same time needing them. They feel that circumstances forced them to consider the invitations to live and stay with the homosexuals and be used in exchange for meeting their basic needs, i.e., food, clothing and shelter (Barile, 1992).
They declare feelings of adoration and gratitude for some tourist-clients who express and show tremendous generosity, kindness and affection--elements lacking in their lives. Some of these children had even aspired to marry or to live with a foreigner in the future ("magpa-garahe"). They don't cease to hope that someday, they could then live abroad ("mag-Tate") (Lee, 1988). However, there are also children who often have fears for clients who have inflicted pain on them during sexual acts, those who are called "sadists".
Nevertheless, many of them are aware of their own insincerity. They just say sweet things like "I love you", and "I miss you", to former clients who are back in their home countries hoping that these men will continue sending money. They make no bones about this deception, saying: "Niloloko nila kami, e di manloloko rin kami." (They fool us, so we will fool them also") (Sarmiento, 1988).
The "Cinderella Complex" is most prevalent among female prostituted children. They feel that their freedom from sexual abuse rests on outside forces. They aspire and passively wait for their "prince" to come along and rescue them from this misfortune.
5. Attitudes toward peers
Prostituted children have always regarded their peers as providers of emotional and even financial support. They share gags and pranks, laughter, sleep, work, food among themselves and spend their free time together. Most of their possessions are communal. "Kapag may bago kang gamit dito, bumibiyahe. Kung saan-saan nakakarating." ("Whenever you get to own something new, it is passed around...it goes places.") (Lee, 1988). One author noted that peers for the children victims of prostitution "are a source of comfort, a makeshift of family of expediency and necessity created by a group isolated from home, community and school". (Velasquez, 1993). Living together, they develop a degree of emotional attachment by identifying with and supporting one another (Childhope, 1989).
The children frequently describe time spent with friends as among the happiest times of their lives (Lee, 1988; Childhope, 1989). One prostituted boy quotes, "Barkada ang pinupuntahan ko rito. Sa bahay, away kami nang away ng mga kapatid ko, pero dito magkakasundo kami." ("I come here to be with my friends. At home, my siblings and I would always fight. But here, we all get along well.") Another shares, "Pagsasama at pagmamahalan dito, walang kapantay." ("Nothing can match the companionship and love found in this place.")
The group system is also a means of defense for prostituted teens, especially shielding them from violent customers and corrupt and lewd police officers. There are pimps who pay the policemen some amount of money per night for every prostituted child. The teens, on the other hand, say that they must strike their own deals with the policemen if caught. The group, then, functions as a social security device to enhance the bargaining power of these prostituted teens.
On the larger scenario, there is also a phenomenon as rivalry between groups of streetchildren, in general, and sexually abused children, in particular. Each group claims its own territory. Intrusion of territory by another group often results in gang riots which consequently make these children vulnerable to physical injury.
6. Attitudes toward the job
Varying opinions have noted the prostituted children's personal view about their job. Generally, though, economic factor stands out as the best-like aspect of prostitution. Most children, have also recalled being uncomfortable, guilty, repulsed or confused in the beginning, or when faced with a particular unpleasant situation. Below are vignettes of some of these children:
"Hindi ko naman alam na masama iyon. Basta ang alam ko'y parte iyon ng trabaho ko. Ginamit nila akong pareho. Nagustuhan ko pero hindi ko maintindihan ang sarili ko. Naiilang ako sa ginagawa ko. Nalalaman na rin ng mga pumupunta doon kung ano ang ginagawa ko." ("I did not know that what I was doing was wrong. The only thing I knew was that it was just part of my job. They used me. I liked it but then I don't understand myself. I don't feel comfortable with what I am doing. Those who come to the place already knows what I do.") (Barile, 1992)
From a boy who was asked to make love to an elderly man and his wife alternately:
"Nasusuka ako, pero ginagawa ko rin dahil kailangan ko ng pambili ng pagkain." ("I wanted to throw up. But I still did what I had to do because I needed the money to buy food.") (Barile, 1992)
From a young girl whose first job was to be photographed naked:
"Nilagnat ako, kung anu-ano ang napanaginipan ko. Nagdalawang-isip ako--bumalik na lang kaya sa probinsiya?" ("I got sick with fever. I had nightmares. I had second thoughts of going back home to the province.")
But before she could even consider this thought, new customers came along. One day, she looked at her body and realized "it was not hers anymore". So, she opted to continue the trade of prostitution. (Lee, 1988).
"Si Dennis, nahirapan...nang unang na-enter, umiiyak, ayaw pumasok, hinila siya ng kasama namin, "Paano ka kakain?"..Ginawa niya, kinuha ang pera at umalis, sa banyo siya sumuka. Ngayon, bago niya gawin, humihithit muna siya ng damo." ("It was not easy for Dennis. The first time he had a client, he was crying. One of us asked him outright, "How can you feed yourself that way?" Dennis took the money and left. He threw up. Now, before doing it, he gets a whiff of marijuana."
Later, however, it seems that the economic factor becomes a stronger motivation and most children have learned to endure the effects of their experiences. As one girl puts it, "Madali ang trabaho, malaki ang kita, kuntento na ako." ("This is easy money. I am contented.") (Diliman Review, 1982)
Some derive secondary gains like attention and affection from clients since they consider them as older relatives. Still, a few derive pleasure from the experience. Most dislike actual sexual intercourse, complaining of the physical fatigue and the feeling of shame. Some of these children, use the word "laspag" to describe their thought and feeling about themselves. This is mostly after they were requested to do anal or oral sex with their clients.
There is also a feeling of satiation over the practice. Others look at their jobs as merely a routine for them. Dr. Laraya opines that "sex has become casual for these prostituted children. They themselves seek the abuse because it is the easiest way to earn and survive." She cited that in her study, 56% of her respondents justified their sexual encounters in exchange for the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter (Laraya and Velarde, 1991).
Mr. Ricky Lee interviewed some 14 and 15 year-old boys in 1988 and the following are descriptions of their varied feelings about "bayuhan blues" (when boys lined-up in front of the audience and masturbate):
"Wala parang nag-gu-good-time lang." (Nothing. It's just like having a good time.)
"Sanayan lang, parang wala kang nakikita." (I just have to get used to it; as if I don't see anything, anyone)
"Minsan sa dalas mong ginagawa ito'y di ka na titigasan. Pi-fake-in mo na lang." (Sometimes you no longer get aroused because you always do it. So just fake it.)
"Baboy." (This is a boy who refused to join the "bayuhan blues".)
"Magpapa-table na lang ako, pahawak-hawak sa kamay ng kostumer, payakap-yakap." (I'd rather sit with a customer at the table, just hold their hands and embrace them.)
"Ang lahat ay sanayan lang. Noo'y tulakan pa...ngayo'y parang humaharap lang sa salamin. Kagaya ng nasanay sa napakaraming bagay tulad ng pagpupuyat, VD (madali lang palang gamutin ito), kiyeme sa kostumer. Kaya kong ngitian, yakapin, halikan, sipingan, maski ano'ng hitsura ng kostumer." (You just have to get used to everything. Before, I had to be pushed to do it. But now, it's just like looking at yourself in the mirror. Just like the many other things I've gotten used to like not getting enough sleep, VD (I did not know this was easy to cure), qualms about receiving a customer, I can now embrace, kiss, sleep with and smile at anyone regardless her physical appearance.)
For some, the job is also a threat to smooth relationships among the peers. Apparently, peer rivalry ensues when the pirating of clients is concerned, just like any other kind of business. A feeling of resignation and fatalistic attitude, however, were observed to dominate the consciousness of these children (Carandang et. al., 1993; Fernandez, 1984; Samson, 1987). Laraya, who reported that only two of her 49 respondents expressed shame about prostitution, further expounds, "The stoic response reveals their concrete attempt to protect themselves. By not feeling, there is no pain." (Velarde, 1991).
A survey by Sister Soledad Perpinan of the Third World Movement Against the Exploitation of Women (TWMAEW) of 614 prostituted children from Metro Manila, Olongapo, Angeles, Cebu and Batangas revealed that: 90% are rural migrants; 34% say they intend to look for other work (most of the prostituted children prefer a different way of earning a living); 20% say they would return to the province if given the chance to do so; 28% wish they could continue their studies.
However, it seems that their reactions contradict their statements, as Ricky Lee (1988) interviewed the two prostituted children thus, revealed: Lilibeth, a 14-year old says, "Di talaga ako magtatagal dito. Nag-iipon lang ako ng P500 na pasalubong ko sa mga magulang ko." (I won't stay too long in this job. I'm just trying to save up P500 to give to my parents.) But she has been saying this over and over again.
The longer a prostituted child stays in this business, the greater the tendency to remain even longer. Social workers interviewed by Sarmiento (1988) say that "women victimized for several years (e.g. locked up in a "casa") no longer need to be kept under lock and key--they have already grown so inured that there seems to be no other way of life. They no longer think of escaping. Often, they do not even know how to go from the "casa" to the shopping center."
So, do they love the job? Do they hate it, tolerate it, or do they simply feel trapped? It seems that the prostituted children have learned to "forget" their misgivings by focusing on the material gain, only to remember them again, once in a while or towards the end, when the going proves to be really tough.
In an interview of an 18-year old boy by Barile (1992) who had left prostitution, it was noted:
"Gino confesses that he tried to commit suicide once to end his problems. He also tried marijuana once, but stopped using it because he found out that his problems did not go away. He worries about the future, about getting married and his wife finding out about his past. He has HIV and the doctor has told him that within eight years it may develop into AIDS. He has accepted his misfortune and knows he cannot change things or erase his memory, but still dreams of the future. His friends still ask him to go back to prostitution but he has decided that he doesn't want any more of it."
Interviews conducted for magazine and news articles showed that these children wish to continue their education and finish their studies. Likewise, in the TWMAEW study, 28% of the children wanted to continue their studies. This is also true for the Childhope study conducted in 1989. Streetgirls, the focus of the study, wanted to become teachers, nurses, doctors, singers, actresses, policewomen, social workers and secretaries in the future. These children said it all:
Andy, a dancer at the Crazy Horse Disco in Bulacan, is in second year high school and wants to graduate with honors.
A girl interviewed by Velasquez (1993), hopes to get married someday, "I hope somebody can accept us for what we are."
Some dream of becoming entertainment stars', "Gusto ko maging artista! Puwede akong maging sikat, pahawakan mo lang ako sa bakla." (I want to be a movie actress! I can be famous...just get me a gay manager.") (Lee, 1988).
The boys, similarly, would like to be able to study, to work and later on become professionals, i.e., soldier, policeman. They aspire for a transformation, to be good and to reform. Moreover, they would like to see justice prevail in the society.
Aside from the dream of becoming a somebody someday, most of these children still dream of a normal, happy life, including reunion with their families (Childhope study on streetgirls (1989). According to Carandang, et. al. (1993), they found out that among the girls, the most significant aspiration expressed was "to help their families and make their parents happy."
The Impact of Prostitution
Low self-esteem. Prostituted children see themselves as salable commodity. They harbor strong feelings of distrust towards adults and they get confused when their bodies are abused instead of cared for. In a study by Samson (1987), children in prostitution have also been observed to exhibit behavioral patterns such as poor impulse control, promiscuity and passive-aggressive tendencies.
A good profound need for parental warmth, acceptance and affection was one of the more frequently occurring themes in projective tests administered to sexually-abused children. (Samson, 1987; Carandang et. al., 1993)
Role Reversal. In some cases, traumatized and confused children usually manifest a role reversal. According to Barrios (1988), "They participate so actively as to be seducers, not because they are oversexed or monstrous but because growing up fearful and unloved in a shattered family, they learn how sex can bring attentiveness appearing like affection or can serve as a medium for taunting revenge."
Confused identity. This condition, which is very noticeable` among children in prostitution, has been described by Fernandez (1984) in the following words: "Their physique is a picture of contradictions. While it is still very much a child's body, it appears harassed, overworked and approximates the adult body's appearance. The children manage to behave like adults with their clients, as evidenced by their ability to command fees and demand certain conditions. But as they return to their peers, the child in them re-surfaces as indicated by an extreme pleasure in playing, running around and craving for goodies."
Confused emotions. Literature on child abuse has shown that sexually or physically-abused children often feel that they are somehow to be blamed for the abuse, as punishment for something they perceived to be wrongfully said or did. The dilemma seems to be even worse for prostituted children who solicit the abuse because they somehow get some benefits from it. These conditions led to a conflict of emotions. Deep inside, the children did not like their situation but they kept on rationalizing so that they can keep on going. In the beginning, the feelings of repulsion and guilt are more dominant, and on the surface. After a while, most children seem to learn to "forget" their aversion and sticking to the benefits that they get. The following statements of the children strongly explain this:
"Pag nagda-drugs ka kasi'y halo-halo ang emotions mo. Gusto mong matawang, gusto mong maiyak. Di ka naman puwedeng tumawa dahil maririnig ka ng kapitbahay, baka ipahuli ka. Di ka rin naman puwedeng mag-isip dahil maiisip mo lang na mali ang ginawa mo. Maiiyak ka na lang." ("When you're high on drugs, you experience different feelings. As if you want to laugh, you also want to cry. But you can not laugh so loud because your neighbors might hear you and call the police. You cannot think either because you might realize that what you are doing is wrong. So, you just cry.")
"Nuong minsang bangag kami, hiniwa-hiwa ni Ronnie yung dibdib. Tumatawa pa si Ronnie dahil wala siyang nararamdaman. Tawang walang laman."("Once we were high on drugs, Ronnie cuts his chest. He was even laughing because he could not feel anything. It was empty laughter.")
"Nagustuhan ko ang trabaho pero hindi ko maintindihan ang sarili ko."("I liked it but I couldn't understand myself.")
There is a conflicting impact of prostitution in terms of moral orientation of children. One source (Samson, 1987) confirms the presence of guilt feelings among children in prostitution. Though many of them come from broken and dysfunctional families, awareness of family values and standards still give them a sense of right and wrong. The same source notes that some children engaged in the trade are still conscious of meriting approval from authority.
On the contrary, some studies that have been conducted on the prostituted children described how distorted values espoused by society are reflected in the lives of streetchildren, in general and in sexually-abused children, in particular. Torres (1992) intimated that the influence of globalization in promoting consumerism and materialism is also a contributing factor for the disintegration of values of the children. As mentioned, "It paints a picture of the world as a place where sexual gratification and the acquisition of wealth have become the symbols of happiness." This is the reason why there are children who have easily learned to be tough and use tricks and even feign affection in order to get more money out of their clients. Thus, feelings of guilt among these children are scarce. Their primary concern becomes survival rather than finding a way out of the trade.
Various sources speak of a "confused notion of work ethic" that permeates the consciousness of the prostituted child (Cullen and Smith, 1993; Fernandez, 1984). Sometimes, parents tolerate, sanction and even encourage their children to engage in prostitution, hence, children assumed that their work is morally correct. Children think that they are not exploited because they fulfill economic needs of the family and because their earnings sustain human survival. According to Diliman Review (1982), sometimes, even parents tend to rationalize the engagement of their children into prostitution. If their child is a boy, they say, "there's nothing to lose, he's a boy, anyway." If their child is a girl, they say, "What else is there to lose when she had lost it already?"
Contrariwise, 44% of Laraya's respondents said that they still think that sexual abuse is bad; that sex should be confined to husband and wife and that they are too young for it.
The unsanitary surroundings of the prostituted children debilitate their resistance to germs and viruses, thus, could run the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. A further threat to their health included habitual use of rugby and other prohibited substances. They are also vulnerable to physical injury caused by gang conflicts and sadism of many clients. According to Diliman Review (1982) several children at the Manila Youth and Reception Center (MYRC) are suspected to be prostituted children because they bear marks of forced sex: swollen lips/mouth, scratches or bleeding wounds in their genitals. These children also suffer undernourishment because of their irregular intake of meals and insufficient rest/sleep (Fernandez, 1984). Cullen and Smith (1983) documented that in the Philippines, half of female children who engaged in the sex trade become pregnant and about 32% of them have had at least, one abortion. Queenie, a prostituted teen who got pregnant and had an abortion expresses her thoughts about the issue, "I can not afford to have a baby now. But if it had lived, I would have taken cared of it." (Velasquez, 1993).
Children's behavior change seriously after the abuse. This is what was found in a study by Laraya (Velarde, 1991). Most of the children who were abused were observed to become rebellious with temper tantrums, become liars, stealers and run-aways. It was also noted that they have developed fear of the dark, they become insomniac, they have nightmares and they tend to bed-wet. They also become violent that they hurt small children and destroy property. Some of them even abuse their fellow children sexually and grow up to be abusers themselves.
Educational deprivation further limits the prostituted child's future to a low-status job where skills are unnecessary (Fernandez, 1984). They have learned the "skills of survival" and they have become street-smart. This is the kind of intelligence they learn and master while living in the streets.
Coping Mechanisms of the Prostituted Child
How do these children cope and deal with the physical and emotional stress they frequently experience? According to two in-depth studies on sexually-exploited children by Samson (1987) and Carandang et. al. (1993), respectively, prostituted children often make use of the following mechanisms:
Substance Abuse - Children coming from the provinces commonly felt lonely during their first night in Manila and adopted the habits of other children in the streets including the use of rugby and other substances to relieve this feeling. As what one of the prostituted boy-child had said: "Pag bangag ka wala kang nararamdaman. Sarili mo lang ang mundo mo. Iyo lang ang dahilan kaya ka nabubuhay." (When you're loaded, you don't feel anything. You own the world. That's the only reason why you're still alive.)
Materialistic/consumerist Attitude - Children focus on the material gains they can get out of the job they are doing. Example of this is the child that says, "Maraming nai-ingit sa akin sa lugar namin. Buti raw ako nakakapagpainom, magagara ang damit." (A lot of people from the neighborhood envy me. Good for her, she can afford to buy drinks and nice clothes', they say.")
Self-indulging in materialistic pursuits - Children placate themselves by eating in restaurants, buying clothes and engaging in other materialistic endeavors.
Rationalizing their socially unsanctioned behavior - Children tried to rationalize their behavior by expressing the statements like these:
"Hindi naman dahil ganito ang trabaho namin, masama na kami." (Just because this is the kind of work we do, it does not mean we are bad people.)
"Hindi kami prostitutes, parang hostess lang, mga lalaki nga lang." (We are not prostitutes, we are the male counterpart of hostesses.)
"Sa callgirls, talagang trabaho. Sa amin, good time lang, parang namamasyal ka lang. Hindi naman kami nawawalan e. Nakakabit pa rin, sila ang nawawalan...lumuluwang." (For call girls, this is really hard work, but for us, this is fun, just like strolling around. We don't have anything to lose, it' is still attached where it should be. Girls lose a lot, theirs' get lost and expanded.)
Taking pride in their self-sufficiency.
Shifting to temporary mental lapses.
A dissociation of the ego from the body (lack of or absence of ego involvement).
Stoicism (pretending to be unaffected, dying guilt feelings.)
The Prostituted Children in the Context of
Family and Community
The Asian Perspective: What is happening?
Every year throughout Southern Asia, hundreds of thousands of girls and boys, as young as 4 years old are sold and bought to engage in the sex trade. Thailand, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines are among the countries that are plagued by child prostitution.
Thailand - Prostitution increased in Thailand during the Vietnam War when US troops used the country as a rest and recreation center. When the troops left, the tourists took over along with a newly created domestic market (Borzello, 1992). In a recent survey by the Population of Social Research Institute, the number of prostituted children was placed at the low end of 30,000 to a high end of 800,000. The rapid growth of prostitution in Thailand has led to the trafficking of children from the neighboring countries of China, Burma and Laos. Due to the language and culture differences, children are particularly frightened and vulnerable (Childhope, 1992).
Taiwan - In this country, most children recruited for prostitution usually come from the indigenous hilltribes which comprise only 2% of the country's entire population. Industrialization is largely responsible for the gradual erosion of the aboriginal people's economic base. Farming villagers have been displaced to accommodate all kinds of infrastructure that would meet the demands of growing industries. These economic pressures leave poor children with no other choice but to work in the city. Agents come to the villages telling the children about the good life that awaits them in the towns and the girls are easily enthralled by the idea. Most of them, in turn, were taken to low-class brothels where they are "used" by local Taiwanese. Others are taken to tourist area brothels, massage parlors or luxurious hotels. According to the Rainbow Project, a center for sexually exploited children based in Taipei, "Many young girls who are in their care were sold by their parents out of poverty although some parents use the money for amassing material possessions. They have low self-esteem and in order to survive, they become hostile to the world and even to themselves." The Caritas community in Taiwan notes that most of the prostituted children are found in low-class brothels in "slavery-like conditions." Here, the children are not compensated at all. While there are a few girls who are sold to clients, most of the girls go voluntarily for "one reason or another".
Sri Lanka - Yohan (Blundell, 1992) is a young teen-age boy who did very well in school as evidenced by his high marks. His parents had been urged to send him to college, but they could not afford for economic reasons. One day, Yohan found himself being offered an attractive invitation by a gray-haired Englishman whom he met while he was sitting on the pure white sand at the Negombo Beach. The Englishman seemed to have read his thoughts. Yohan, on the other hand, had made the possibility of continuing his education, but for a price.
Yohan was only one among Sri Lanka's 10,000 prostituted boy-children. Prostitution among males grew as a direct result of tourism. The country caters to a specialized pedophile market---gay men coming predominantly from Europe (Blundell, 1992). During the recent civil war in Sri Lanka, child-sex tourists continued to proliferate in the country. Most Sri Lankan boys aged 8-14 work as prostitutes in the west maritime areas where most of the beach hotels are located.
India - India has the largest incidence of child prostitution in the world. Out of 800 million population, 400 are children. This is also a traditional society that practices child marriages and temple prostitution. In a report on the situation of the streetchildren in Bombay, Matoo (1992) notes that "regional disparities in economic development in Maharasatra as well as in other parts of India is the reason why many families leave the rural areas, thus concentrating the population and activities in cities like Calcutta and Bombay." Unskilled laborers coming from the rural areas cannot meet the high cost of living in the city. Even the children need to work just to be able to support themselves and their families. In India, these children are called "children without childhood." (Matoo in Childhope Proceedings, 1992). The Domestic Workers Movement based in Bombay claims that girls working as domestic helpers eventually move to prostitution out of sense of helplessness, ignorance or because they are sold into prostitution. They are also vulnerable to sexual harassment by their employers. The Protection of Working Children from Exploitation, a center in New Delhi catering to about 800 working children reports that many children coming to them are from the environmentally degraded areas of the Himalayan region.
Philippines - Child prostitution in the Philippines rose to an alarming proportion in the 60's due to the increased use of the US bases and the growth of rest and recreation industry around the area. With tourism policies encouraging the exploitation of women and children, eventually prostitution became a growing industry (ECPAT-Philippines, 1992).
"Rosario Baluyot of Olongapo City was the youngest child of an abused mother who had 8 children by three different men. Her father made a living as a religious conman, posing as a faith healer in Subic, Olongapo City. When her mother died of brain tumor, Rosario's father brought her and the other children to a cult village called the Sacrifice Valley. At the age of 9, she made her way to the bright city lights of Olongapo where she met Violet, a woman organizing and teaching streetchildren to beg from American servicemen. Each time the children received money, they were expected to turn in whatever they had gathered. Rosario's first taste of sexual abuse happened in 1986, when Jimmy, the common-law husband of Violet raped her. Since then, Rosario got hooked into selling herself for a few dollars. It was common for her to be drugged by her clients so that they could poke things into her vagina. In October of the same year, one of her clients, a German pedophile, inserted allegedly, something like a Vicks inhaler into her private part. What turned out to be a vibrator got stuck in her vagina and remained there for almost 5 months. She refused to go the hospital because she was afraid that doctors might send her to the police if they found out what she did. She began to stink and as the smell worsened, she would be beaten like an animal by the very people who earlier had promised to protect her. She was even raped once more by Jimmy who forced himself into her more fiercely, thus pushing the object deeper into her cervix. After several months of intense pain, Rosario died of heart seizure. Her lungs were found to be wasted by sniffing glue and her liver was diseased. She was only eleven years old." (Blundell, 1992).
The celebrated story of Rosario Baluyot has created ripples of outrage among Filipinos. It has awakened many people to the dismal condition of tens of thousands of poor children lured into prostitution. Her story deserves to be told, and this is her story:
The issue of prostitution was suppressed and was not seen in print until the early 80's. A 1982 article in Diliman Review traces the first instances that the issue of child prostitution was exposed to the public eye. It cites a 1981 article by Lourdes Molina in Times Journal, a series of 4 parts, which revealed the issue and added fuel to the widening campaign against "sex tours" in Manila. It also tells of a 1981 television documentary in France, entitled "Sidewalks of Manila" which revealed the widespread prostitution of children. The Department of Social Welfare and Development estimated an increase in the number of prostituted children from 20,000 in 1987 to 50,000-60,000 in 1991. They are most visible in the Manila tourist belt. Others roam around the entertainment and commercial districts of Quezon City. They are likewise, to be found at some tourist destinations like Boracay, Puerto Galera, La Union, Pagsanjan, etc. In other major cities in the country, like Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo and Davao, prostituted children are beginning to dispense themselves.
In 1992, a milestone in the fight to curb child prostitution in the country was reached when the then President Aquino signed into law Republic Act No. 7610. RA 7610 provides special protection against child abuse. The law that declares all children below 18 years are criminally exempt and are therefore considered to be the exploited and offended parties in a sexual relationship (ECPAT Newsletter, Oct. 1992).
Factors that Lead to and Sustain Child Prostitution in Asia
There are quite a lot of causes or factors that can be considered as to be leading to and could be sustaining child prostitution in Asia, according to the available literature, such as the following:
The focus on industrialization and the consequent neglect and wearing away of the agricultural base in most Asian developing countries has been cited as the primary reason why children are forced to work in the city streets because of penetrating poverty in the countryside (Childhope Proceedings, 1992; Empower, 1993). In Thailand, as well as in the Philippines, despite the fact that a large percentage of the population still depends on agriculture for its livelihood, governments still focus on developing new industries.
In Asia, especially among developing countries, tourism is treated as a quick route to economic development and prosperity. As what has been observed, the government puts much premium on the economic gains from tourists at the expense of national dignity (Borzello, 1992). It was further noted that the consumer mentality which encourages the trade of children is a by-product of governmental policies which emphasize economic development over human development. Fabio Dallape, in writing the introduction of the book, The Sexual Exploitation of Children: Field Responses (ICCB 1991), made the following remarks: "There are no doubts in my mind that a country's profits in terms of tourist dollars are minimal when compared with a country's losses in terms of the distortion in values of a whole generation of young people caused by the impact of the tourist industry."
3. Corruption and Trafficking
Corruption and laxity of law enforcement have been pointed to as major reasons why the practice of "tourism-cum-sex" in the third world countries cannot be undone. People involved in the proliferation of prostitution became powerful because of the money and the necessary connections that they have established to stay and flourish in the area.
A center for children in prostitution operating in Thailand, points to the negative impact of media in encouraging the desire for material goods and identified as one of the causes of child prostitution in Thailand and other Asian countries. The global trend of giving primary importance to extravagance and physical appearance, had influenced the children (especially the unskilled female workers) from the countryside to move on to the urban areas presumably to satisfy their desire for material needs.
5. Women's Place in Society
In most Asian countries, especially in the rural areas, a culture that favors men over women still prevails. Most household still practices a patriarchal set-up where women are treated as mere objects whose fates are to be decided by the head of the family (Fernandez, 1984). This practice is also true in regarding girls as dispensable where education is concerned. Most frequently, girls are expected to stay out of school in favor of the boys if there is a lack of funds for the education of the children. It is also expected of women to consider the needs of the family first and foremost before their own individual needs.
6. Male Bahaviour
Many women in prostitution run away from their homes to escape from physically or sexually abusive fathers or husbands. Drunkenness usually makes a man more violent and abusive. However, society more often condones such behavior with excuses like, "lalaki, talagang ganyan." ("Males are usually like that."). Boys who are initiated early on to sex are regarded highly (Empower, 1993). "Machismo" values emphasized conquests, the "plucking of the cherry", thus, providing a market for young girls (Tan, 1987).
In Thailand, boys who are turning into puberty have initiation ceremony called khuen kru (literally means to mount a teacher'). The ceremony engages him to have a first sexual experience with a sex worker.
There is also a belief for the Chinese that old men could regain their youth by sleeping with very young girls.
Societies tolerate men who have as many partners as they can because, accordingly, "men, by nature, can not control their sexual urges."
7. AIDS (and some misconceptions about it)
A report on the current situation of prostitution in Thailand states that the threat of contracting AIDS has not decreased the demand for child prostitution. As a matter-of-fact, as more women and girls become HIV positive, the demand for new supplies of girls increases.
Misconception also plays a larger role in the alarming growth of prostitution in Asia. There is a common misconception that having sex with children would not likely give you AIDS. Another related misconception is the belief that women from remote areas are also less likely to have AIDS compared to women coming from the big cities (Clifton, 1993).
8. Child's Place in Society
Most traditional Asian families practice authoritarian style of parenting. In her thesis on Sexually Exploited Children, Samson (1987) found out that most of the children interviewed have parents who were power assertive. Conventional parent-child relationships depend on the child's submissive, obedient and unquestioning allegiance to the parent. If the parents are not able to make ends meet for the family, the child is expected to provide support and contribute to its livelihood and economy in exchange for the care and support that the child receives.
Current Intervention Strategies
Programmes for Children in Prostitution: What is being done?
In an attempt to compile the project reports on the rehabilitation strategies for the sexually-exploited children all over the world, International Catholic Child Bureau (ICCB) came up with a book entitled The Sexual Exploitation of Children: Field Responses. The book summarized the types of projects into eight general components: 1) prevention, 2) outreach, 3) residential care, 4) non-residential care, 5) counseling, 6) training of personnel, 7) research, and 8) advocacy.
What is currently being done to care for the children in prostitution? There is a survey of existing intervention programs found in literature that have been designed to meet the multi-faceted needs of children in prostitution. The most common response to the problem of child prostitution in the Philippines and across other Asian countries is to set-up a project and to formulate a program for sexually abused children. The programmes have various components to it. Generally, three primary programme directions are: community-based, street-based and center/institution-based programs.
The most important component of this program is prevention. In the Philippines, CARITAS-Manila has come up with SAGIP MORAL, a preventive component of the Morning Glory Program. It started in 1986 and taps about 10 local parishes where there is a large population of street and poor children. The children are given back-to-school grants while the parents are provided with training in marketable skills and helped in finding jobs or starting income-generating projects. Alternative educational programs to enrich the creativity of the children are also given. The more crucial aspect of prevention is the values re-formation of parents who will ultimately keep the children from returning to the streets. Parents are encouraged to attend value-formation sessions, Bible study, and prayer sessions conducted by the program staff. In Pagsanjan, Laguna, information-dissemination campaigns on the nature and danger of pedophilia is also undertaken to raise awareness of the community to the problem of prostitution involving pedophiles.
In Taiwan, CARITAS has also started community-based prevention programmes. In aboriginal villages, meetings, dialogues or talks are being held to help people adjust from a simple agricultural life to a highly technological world. Again, the emphasis is placed on the family--helping parents understand the changes in society to further help them adjust to the demands of the new way of living. Local parish priests have also conducted visitation to families whose children are in danger of being prostituted. The youth are encouraged to participate in parish activities. Other activities being undertaken in the community-level are as such: income-generating projects for parents; conduct of training for parents on responsible parenthood and parent effectiveness; natural and health education including physical hygiene, home and environment sanitation and nutrition.
This component serves to provide temporary shelter to the children. In providing care, some centers hope to approximate as close as possible typical family life in the center. New Beginnings, a home for sexually-abused children based in the Philippines, renders a group living in a family-type home which further provides a setting that can meet the individual and group needs of the children. Participation of the children is encouraged, especially in terms of decision-making concerning them.
The Morning Glory program of Caritas-Manila is designed primarily as a reception and rehabilitation center for girls aged 7-17 years who want to leave the flesh trade. Caritas-Manila has also a drop-in center (established in 1988) and has also been accommodating children roaming around the Ermita-Malate area. Its programmes include counseling, tutoring, locating families of the children and working with them in exploring possibilities of reconciliation.
In 1989, a residential live-in project called Childhood for Children was started by the PREDA Human Development Center. One of the many activities it conducts is the "feeling therapy", an approach that assists the children to release their feelings of anger, hostility, pain and frustration. This is conducted by the supportive accredited psychotherapists.
Bahay Tuluyan is a drop-in center organizing efforts also at the community level. Drop-in centers are temporary shelters where streetchildren may come to get some food and clothing. Staff, which include social workers and volunteers help in providing these children with formal and non-formal educational programmes. The center also addresses the children's legal and medical needs.
Kanlungan Children's Center is also a drop-in overnight shelter. It seeks to keep the children off the streets from late afternoon until morning. Children may come and go as they wish. It can accommodate 25-30 children and it has a large front yard being used as a "play area" where recreational and creative activities are being held.
Buklod is an Olongapo-based center that operates a night-care shelter for prostituted children. It provides socialization activities as a form of recreation.
In the southern part of the country, in Davao City where the problem of child prostitution has also escalated since the late 80's, Talikala, a center for sexually-abused girls, "help women regain their dignity and self-worth by re-discovering themselves as persons and not as mere objects". The center organizes women whose age ranges from 15-17 years. The center further provides health education, direct services, soft loans for medicare and income-generating projects.
In Taipei, the Te-Lien Home was created by the Good Shepherd sisters to provide a small group living experience within a short period of time, for the sexually-exploited girls. The home also provides psychological help, counseling, personal hygiene and weekend activities.
Home of Eternal Joy is a home where the prostituted children who wish to start a new life can go and learn new skills. It provides a real family atmosphere as well as formal education, vocational training, psychological support, health care and education, religious education and practice, spiritual support, contact with local communities, job placement and re-integration into the community.
This component provides on-site services to sexually-abused children living on the streets. Outreach activities, which includes provision of food and clothing, are also conducted and undertaken in the streets. The other two major activities being conducted are street-organizing and alternative education.
Perspectives on Helping
1. Current Responses of Children on Rehabilitation
Fernandez (1984) noted in her thesis on child prostitution that practically every child being interviewed for her study resented the means of reform offered by welfare agencies and rehabilitation centers in the Philippines. Most of them have grown cynical about the methods used by these institutions. A 1988 magazine article (Sarmiento, 1988) quotes a source from the DSWD as saying that the "rate of return to prostitution by rehabilitated' prostituted children was a discouragingly 95%." This information was validated against conflicting reports submitted by selected centers caring for sexually-exploited children to the ICCB. In general, children coming to these centers have been found to return to their families, referred to other agencies for appropriate intervention programs, assisted to find an alternative employment and provided assistance to help them continue their schooling. The fact that children have been reported to return to their families is not a guarantee of their freedom from sexual exploitation. One of the difficulties encountered by the Morning Glory Program of the Caritas-Manila was the clash of values between the children who are being helped (who consequently rejected this new way of living), and their families who have not changed their outlook in life.
In Taiwan, it has been discovered by the Garden of Hope Center that while some of the girls would really want to be reunited with their families, no matter how abusive and violent the families might seem to be, their parents actually want them to come home only for the support they will provide. (Childhope Proceedings, 1992).
In Thailand, many do not want to leave prostitution according to the Barn Sukniran (Home of Eternal Joy). Some girls express their desire to leave but never got to do so. The Center's staff believe that only inner change can make these girls leave the flesh trade for good.
In the Philippines, children who have been to centers often run away, return to the streets, then seek other shelters--and then start the cycle or the process all over again to the point that some children have already made the rounds of most shelters (Barrios, 1988). A Childhope Study on streetgirls (1989) cited that it was "common for the girls to hop from one institution to another."
While it is true that many streetchildren have been recovered successfully, in terms of being able to get back in school and finding new ways to earn a living, there are still more children going back to the streets or wandering from center to center. Barrios (1988) offers the view that, "It would seem that food, clothing and shelter are not enough to keep these children content in any center."
Conditions in the centers may also be one of the several factors why children have developed a negative perspective on rehabilitation. Unfavorable experiences such as: punishment by overly strict houseparents; eating spoiled food; doing nothing worthwhile with their time; and the feeling of sadness and boredom by doing routinary activities, further influenced their opinion on recovery in the centers. When asked to enumerate their positive experiences in the centers, the children cited the following: they always eat on time; they have learned various crafts and vocational skills and they are able to study in schools.
There are, however, faint signs of hope. Sarmiento (1988) noted the findings from a study of Leopoldo Moselina on the reactions of prostituted children to alternative lifestyle seminars: 18% learned to save part of their earnings in the bank; 16.4% developed a brighter outlook in life; 16% learned to take better care of themselves (physical); 15.6% were inspired to change; 10.8% developed an improved attitude towards their customers; 6.6 started small business; 5.3% took up vocational training; and 5.3% continued formal schooling.
Dr. Laraya (Velarde, 1991) insists that "recovery is high" with enough family and community support. "But recovery is never complete so the fastest you take the child away from the abuser, the greater his chance for recovery." A social worker from Brooklyn, New York (1989) also said that, "We cannot substitute the ordinary functioning of families, of schools and communities by an ever-increasing number of specialized services, therapists and social workers. Ordinary society should somehow function. It should be able to cope with most of its problems. We have to find ways in which families and schools and communities can function again and take care of children."
2. New Perspectives
The most recent perspectives on helping the children victims of prostitution are now focusing on inner change, on reaching the individual child to bring out and support inner qualities that will "help them help themselves". Most important of these qualities is a healthy self-esteem.
A longitudinal study of 698 infants was done in Hawaii for a period of 30 years. The study hoped to find out how some individuals triumph over physically and emotionally
deprived childhood. The conclusions of the article have been quoted by Vanistendael (ICCB Series, 1992):
"Finally, in order for any intervention program to be effective, a young child needs enough consistent nurturing to trust in its availability. Resilient children in our study had at least one person in their lives who accepted them unconditionally, regardless of temperamental idiosyncrasies or physical or mental handicaps. All children can be helped to become more resilient if adults in their lives encourage their independence, teach them appropriate communication and self-help skills and model as well as reward acts of helpfulness and caring."
Chok Hiew, in a 1993 paper written for ECPAT (End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism) emphasizes the need of the children victims of prostitution for safer and healthier environment. This will help them the "regain self-worth, a sense of control and competence and learn skills and competencies that will help them lead a productive life." He feels that this area of recovery and healing already understood by researchers but not yet by the child practitioners themselves creates a "knowledge gap that needs to be addressed to deliver effective programs."
Identified Gaps in the Implementation of Strategies
In the literature surveyed, there are several gaps identified which affects the effective implementation of intervention strategies for children victims of prostitution.
1) There seems to be a lack of substantial material describing in-depth the types of intervention currently being made available to children in prostitution. Most of the project reports that have been cited merely enumerated the services that are provided without giving any detailed description as to how such services are actually being implemented. This lack of systematic studies and researches on the conduct of recovery and healing clearly showed the need for proper and more detailed documentation and information about the existing services.
2) The relative freedom and financial independence provided by street life and prostitution in particular are contributing factors to the failure of recovery and healing of the children. Velasquez (1993) noted her NGO sources saying that, " although live-in institutions provide food, shelter and schooling, these institutions have far been unable to address the unique need of Filipino teens accustomed to earning up to P1,000 a night and a freedom of the streets." This is coupled by the fact that many of those who have gone through the institution are not really committed to changing.
3) There is also a question of distorted sexuality. Debra Boyer (Barrios, 1988), in analyzing the effects of sexual exploitation on children, writes that sex role counseling for prostituted youth is more effective than job training, employment or institutionalization. No matter what jobs, money or educational opportunities are made available, young people are unable to change their response patterns if they continue to view themselves as whores and faggots'."
4) The condition in the centers and institutions such as the limitations of an institutionalized approach is also a significant factor. According to the Childhood for Children Project (a temporary shelter for sexually-exploited children in the Philippines), the large number of children who wanted to stay in the center are psychologically and physically unprepared to meet the demand for residential care. It is common in the residential care to encounter children with drop-in-drop-out habit. According to a social worker of the above-mentioned project, this habit is not helpful to the goal of helping the children experience a new childhood in the center. The learnings they have gained from the center would be automatically lost when they return to the streets. They are all the more confident because they know that there is a safe haven in the center where they can go back to.
5) There are many conflicting reports on the prostituted child's perceptions of the different centers' intervention strategies.
6) There is a wide discrepancy in the rate of return to prostitution of recovered children as reported by the different centers.
7) There is an important problem of the clash of values between the centers and the prostituted children's families.
8) There is a lack of effective intervention strategies that can keep children in the centers inspite of the lure of the streets.
What else needs to be done?
In summary, the review of literature leaves us with many unanswered questions and contradictory findings. In view of the information gathered, reviewed and analyzed, the following recommendations are specified:
1.) The need to tap the traditional resources of the immediate environment of the child. These traditional resources are family, school, peers and community. A concrete example of how this could be done is shown by the Good Shepherd Welfare Center based in Thailand. The center adopted a beautiful Buddhist practice in their work of providing care for the sexually-exploited girls. The Loy-krathong is the cleansing of the self and one's past in the ocean of God's mercy. The girls symbolically do this by placing their past in a paper container called krathong. It is then allowed to float away. The ritual allows the girls to celebrate their cultural festivals as in integral part of recovery.
2.) Vanistendael's framework describes an approach to prevention and intervention covering the following: (1) economic and socio-cultural factors; (2) how different social institutions can support children and thus help prevent exploitation by building resilience and helping them resist environmental forces; and (3) intervention goals to build resilience in children, e.g., healthy self-perceptions and life skills.
3.) A recent training workshop on the rehabilitation of child soldiers in Sierra Leone by the ICCB, the Sierra Leone government and UNICEF (1993) likewise illustrates the focus on the development of inner qualities and needs. The workshop espoused a rehabilitation scheme which was participatory in nature and which emphasizes a) understanding the situation of the children and b) understanding the effects of their participation in armed conflict within the context of their on-going developmental process.
Some highlights of the approach are the following:
The children's emotional and developmental needs were discussed.
The effort was made to avoid an institutionalized approach and to replicate as best as possible a family-like environment.
The formation of small groups of children to maximize the possibility of positive interaction between caregivers and children.
The necessity of the project management recognizing the stressful nature of the work with the children and developing mechanisms to support the staff and prevent "burn-out".
The role of recovery and healing is to fulfill the child's developmental needs - - to ask what it is that children in this situation, who have suffered these experiences NEED from the program rather than how we can best manage a group of difficult and disturbed children. Thus, a program's success is based on whether it meets the needs of the child rather than on whether it is running smoothly.
It is necessary at all times to bear in mind why and for whom the program of recovery and healing was implemented and how one ultimately evaluates successful recovery and healing.
The demands of the program are that it 1) replicate the role of family in providing nurturance and 2) support while at the same time working on to effect family reunification.
4.) The other direction that was revealed by the literature is the need to focus on "inner change" and the realization that intervention strategies cannot be effective if the prostituted children "have no plans of changing their lives".
In view of the above current information, it is recommended that this study proceeds 1) to do a more in-depth psychological probe into the inner lives of prostituted children; 2) to understand it deeply and intimately; and 3) more specifically, this study will address the following questions:
On the Prostituted Child
How do prostituted children think and feel about themselves, their parents, their siblings, their peers, their work, their community and/or center?
What does the experience of prostitution mean to them?
How has the experience of prostitution affected their way of thinking, feeling and believing (intellectually, emotionally, socially and morally)?
What do they do to cope with the feelings that the prostitution experience leaves them with afterwards?
What makes them to continue (or stop) being a prostituted child?
What are their dreams and aspirations for the future?
On the Intervention Programs
What are the current services being rendered by the different centers and how are they actually being done?
What factors and intervention strategies facilitate or hinder the prostituted child's recovery and healing process (as perceived by the caregivers and the children themselves)?
The Inner and Outer World: A Study of the Phenomenology of Children in Prostitution
Research Framework and Methodology
The in-depth study was conducted:
To understand the inner and outer world of the prostituted child; and
To identify the developmental, emotional, social, moral, and spiritual needs of this child that need to be addressed by healing projects and interventions.
The results of the study provide the foundation for an understanding of the prostituted child from their own point of view, their needs as they expressed them, and possible recovery strategies that are most helpful to them.
The study aims to answer the following questions:
How do prostituted children think and feel about themselves, their parents, their siblings, their peers, their work, their community and/or center?
What does the experience of prostitution mean to them?
How has the experience affected their way of thinking, feeling and believing (intellectually, emotionally, socially and morally)?
What do they do to cope with the feelings that their experience leaves them with afterwards?
What makes them continue to be or stop being in prostitution?
What are their dreams and aspirations?
What are their expressed psychological /emotional /social /spiritual needs?
How would they most be like to be helped?
Research Design: Exploring the Child's "inner world"
The study focused on the inner life of the children in prostitution warrants an in-depth, clinical and case study approach that will encourage the expression of the deepest and most personal feelings, needs, issues, and attitudes. Using a combination of the clinical interview and projective techniques, both the child's conscious and unconscious dynamics are brought forth. The case study approach also encourages a view of each respondent as a whole individual, emphasizing the interaction of different aspects of the self around the core of the child's inner world. Further, this approach is "phenomenological", allowing the researchers to "enter the child's world" as the child herself has structured it, instead of starting out with rigid, pre-determined categories to be filled in. The value of the phenomenological approach in the study of an unexplored field such as this is in allowing the field of study to "make itself known" to the researcher on its own terms. Thus, although there were rough outlines such as a theoretical framework that helped make sense of the data, its final structure is allowed to emerge from the data itself. By entering the child's inner world, new and undiscovered terrains were explored. There were no maps--only the child to guide and to show its depths and textures.
Indeed, the clinical and phenomenological approach allowed the researchers to "capture" an experience and to immerse them in its particular flavor and its subtle nuances. The approach ensured that no data is lost due to assumed "irrelevance," or because it does not answer the questions or because it does not fit into the previous paradigms. This clinical, in-depth, phenomenological case study approach has been increasingly implemented in the past few years in studying special groups of Filipino children.
This study adopted two theoretical frameworks as the backbone of inquiry. The first one is Filkenhor and Browne's (1986) "Traumagenic Dynamics," a framework specifically dealing with the traumatic effects of sexual abuse. The second one is a framework for working with children in general, Carandang's (1981) "Rubik's Cube Approach." This is a multi-dimensional model that provides a perspective for viewing the child holistically.
The Four Traumagenic Dynamics of Child Sexual Abuse
A unique unprecedented framework for evaluation, treatment and research on the impact of child sexual abuse was presented by Filkenhor and Browne (1986). Considering their review of the existing literature on the effects of child sexual abuse, their integrated, conceptual model helps greatly to bring together, and render more understandable, the numerous and widely diverse effects of abuse. These were organized into four main components referred to as the four "traumagenic dynamics," and they result from:
(1) the abuse itself,
(2) the child's adjustment before the abuse, and
(3) the impact of responses of others following disclosure of abuse.
These dynamics "alter the abused child's cognitive and emotional interactions with the world, and thus effect the degree and nature of on-going trauma by distorting the child's self-concept, world view and affective capacities." (Tharinger, 1990). They cause the abused child to think differently about circumstances, and about people around her, and thus, to behave differently.
The four traumagenic dynamics of child sexual abuse are:
a. Traumatic Sexualization
This occurs when a child who is sexually abused is introduced to sexual experiences that are developmentally inappropriate, is rewarded by the offender for sexual behaviors, is given inappropriate messages about sexuality by the offender, or has negative and painful experiences associated with the sexual abuse. Such experiences interfere with the normal and healthy development of sexuality as well as predispose him/her to future episodes of inappropriate sexual involvement. For example, a child who has been sexually abused may often aggressively, and inappropriately, make sexual approaches to other adults and children. He or she may be confused about sex and affection, be preoccupied with sexual behavior, have numerous sexual relationships, masturbate repeatedly, have flashbacks to the molestation experience and have phobic reactions to intimacy. Perhaps because they have learned to behave sexually or seductively, these children are also more likely to be sexually re-victimized, in other contexts, later in life.
Filkenhor and Browne propose several circumstances that result in more severe traumatic sexualization for the child. These circumstances include: (1) evoking the child's sexual response; (2) demanding active participation; and (3) using force. Two of these three factors, such as (1) and (2) seem highly possible in the prostitution situation.
Several factors in the creation of traumatic sexualization are present in the prostituted child's experience. They are: the introduction of developmentally inappropriate sexual experiences, the rewards (in this case, money) given for sexual behavior, the notions of sexuality that may be communicated by clients to the child, and negative or painful experiences associated with the sexual act.
Stigmatization results from the negative connotations applied to individuals who have been sexually abused. It occurs when the offender blames and denigrates the child for the abuse. It also happens when other people react with shock and horror to the child's disclosure, blame the child for the abuse, or fail to believe that the abuse has occurred. The child comes to feel responsible for the abuse, soon learns that the abuse is a socially unacceptable thing to happen, and feels "bad", guilty, and ashamed.
Consequently, the child feels ruined for life and has very low self-esteem. Behaviorally, she may isolate from her peers, be involved in criminal activity, become a drug or alcohol abuser, self-mutilate, or attempt suicide. This factor is closely related to the child in prostitution's self-concept and sense of womanhood/manhood in this study.
The possibility of stigmatization seems higher in the prostitution situation than in other sexually abusive situations. The aspect of initiating and feeling responsible for the sexual relationship could increase this stigmatization further - unlike the usual circumstances of child sexual abuse. Seldom can a prostituted child, actively seeking clients, claim to have been "forced to do it." On the other hand, the glamour and relative material abundance associated with prostitution, as opposed to vending and begging, could also neutralize the stigmatization.
This is a loss of sense of security and trust that results when someone that the child has depended on and trusted starts to take advantage of the child and uses him/her in an abusive and callous manner, as in cases of incest. The offender betrays the child's trust by manipulating his or her vulnerability and damaging the child's expectation that he/she will be cared for and protected. Other people also betray the child's trust by being unwilling to believe or protect the child in the face of abuse, and by changing their attitudes towards the child dramatically after he/she has disclosed the abuse. As a result, the child undergoes a grief reaction and significant depression, feels anger, hostility and mistrust towards adults, and consequently has an impaired ability to judge the trustworthiness of others. These feelings manifest in aggressive behavior, delinquency, and either a discomfort in close relationships, or indiscriminate and intense attachment to adults (thus increasing the risk of re-abuse).
The dynamics of betrayal is most related to the aspect of relationships, specially with the opposite sex, in the life of the child in prostitution.
This final dynamic quality reflects the anxiety, fear, and helplessness that develops in the child because he or she is unable to prevent or terminate the abusive situation, which constitutes an unwanted invasion of the child's body territory. This powerlessness may also develop in the child because he or she was unable to convince others that the abuse occurred. The child then feels vulnerable, unable to protect her/himself, and generally less effective or powerful.
These feelings may show themselves in nightmares, phobias, eating and sleeping disorders, depression, running away or an inordinate need to control events by abusing other children (in order to "reclaim" the lost power).
Since prostituted children usually learn to become the active initiators in the client relationship, it would seem highly possible that they would be less traumatized by this factor than abuse victims, who may have "less say" in the matter. If this were true, would children in prostitution have a relatively higher sense of personal efficacy and power?
This framework helps us to see the effects of abuse, not just as isolated symptoms, but as growing out of basic, far-reaching beliefs and feelings about the self, the world and others. Many of these dynamics, especially that of traumatic sexualization, will come to attention as one gets closer to the inner world of the prostituted child.
2. A Multi-Dimensional Approach: Focus on the Inner Dimension
The "Rubics Cube" multi-dimensional model for working with children (Carandang, 1981) provides researchers and clinicians with a handle for relating and integrating all aspects of a child's life. This model proposes the consideration of all four dimensions along which a child may develop, namely: (1) the child as a total person, including the five aspects of intellectual, emotional, physical, social, moral and spiritual development; (2) the child's developmental level; (3) the context of family, community and culture and (4) the child's inner world or the child's own perception of his/ her situation.
This study used this multi-dimensional framework as a guide. It considers the child a total person within the adolescent developmental stage. It looked into the child's background - his/her family life, the circumstances of prostitution and the experience of being in a "rehabilitation" center. It interpreted the findings in the context of the child's family and culture. While it considers the first three dimensions, it focuses on the fourth - the inner or phenomenological dimension.
The study was most concerned with the last but the core dimension: the child's inner world. From this center of emotional, cognitive and physical functioning emanate everything else about the child's life. All his/her emotional issues, beliefs, ways of relating and feelings about his/herself are anchored in the way he/she perceives or experiences the world, him/herself and other people.
This study spawned the roots of any distortions in self-concept, feelings, world view, sense of man/womanhood, relationships with the opposite sex and sexuality. The prostituted child's own understanding of his/her past experiences, present situation and hopes for the future consequently lay the basis for all thoughts, feelings and actions.
How does the prostituted child make sense of his/her situation? How does he view his chances of making it in this world? How does she see the world - is it controllable and predictable? a happy place? chaotic and senseless? loving or cruel? Is he operating from a position of efficacy and control or helplessness and victimization? How does she see herself? How does he see the significant persons in his life? How do they experience their own sexuality?
In keeping with a focus on in-depth but small research, a group of 12 female and 12 male prostituted children were interviewed and clinically assessed for the study. The children were all between thirteen (13) and nineteen (19) years of age.
Initially, it was considered to work only with children who were still actively involved in prostitution (e.g., street-based instead of center-based) for this study. However, as the study progressed, it became apparent that these particular children were difficult to find, much less, interview. It would take more time, in terms of networking, groundwork and relationship-building, to gain access to these children and prepare them for the interview. Thus, based on the initial data with center-based children, which has been found to be very rich nevertheless, we decided to choose mostly center-based children who have been involved in prostitution for this study.
The sample, which was chosen by the centers themselves, provide us with a range of recovery/healing experiences:
- some children have been in their present recovery/healing center for a year or more;
- some have been in the present center for much less than a year; and
- several boys included in this study are still presently street-based, e.g., not staying at any shelter.
All of them have experienced being in prostitution.
The children came from the following centers:
GIRLS : 1. Virlanie Elizabeth Home
2. Manila Youth Reception Center (MYRC)
3. Bahay Tuluyan
4. Kanlungan sa Er-Ma
BOYS : 1. Bahay Tuluyan
2. Pangarap Shelter Drop-in center
The interview-assessment package consisted of a clinical interview and several "projectives" - assessment techniques designed to tap the person's deepest and most unconscious feelings, needs and issues. The complete package was composed of the following:
1. An in-depth Clinical Interview, which covered the following topics:
a) Significant Life Events
b) Family Relationships
c) Significant Persons
e) Wishes and Aspirations
f) Experience of Prostituted Child
h) Sex and Heterosexual Relationships
I) Rehabilitation Experiences/ Life in the Center
2. A modified Sentence Completion Test (SCT), eliciting the child's attitudes towards him/herself, men and women, the family, her parents and friends, and other feelings and issues such as happiness and sadness, guilt, leaving the center or staying, blocks or stepping stones to success and prostitution and sexuality.
The Sentence Completion test was developed through experiences from three previous studies on child sexual abuse that was modified to include sentence stems on the experience of the prostituted child.
3. A projective technique using Ten (10) cards for Projective Stories that the respondents create in response to stimulus pictures.
Seven (7) of these cards are from Thematic Apperception Test (TAT). These particular cards were chosen for their relevance and potential for productive and meaningful responses based on previous clinical and research experiences with streetchildren and sexually abused children . These cards have their original TAT numbers in the list below.
In addition, three (3) "couple" cards were picked out from magazine pictures to elicit "relationship" stories. Initially, during pre-testing, the "couple" card in the TAT (Card 4) was used for this purpose. However, due to a partiality in the picture (the woman seems to be pleading with a man), it has consistently elicited a story that a man is angry and the woman is appeasing him or a man is leaving and the woman is pleading with him to stay, thus, not being effective in revealing differences between respondents. These three cards were chosen because each one has confirmed to elicit varied stories and themes about different aspects of relationships from different children. These cards are labeled A, B, and C.
The following is the list of the ten (10) cards in the order they were used during interviews. This arrangement was determined after several pre-tests and was designed to gradually prime the child for an in-depth self-expression as he/she goes from card 1 to 16.
(1) CARD 1-A - young boy is contemplating a violin which rests on a table in front of him
(2) CARD 3 BM - on the floor against a couch is the huddled form of a boy with his head bowed on his right arm, beside him on the floor is a revolver
(3) CARD 8 BM - an adolescent boy looks straight out of the picture, the barrel of a rifle is visible at one side, in the background is the dim scene of a surgical operation, like a reverie-image
(4) CARD 10 - young woman's head against a man's shoulder
(5) CARD 12 BG - picture of a woodland scene, with a tree in the foreground and a boat beside it
(6) CARD A - from the back, a man and a woman, the woman with her arm around the man's shoulders
(7) CARD BA - scene from "Forrest Gump," where the man and woman are seated on the ground, the woman's hair mussed and clothes with spatters of mud, and the man sitting beside her looking at her
(8) CARD CA - young man and woman asleep on the seat of a train or bus, the woman resting on the man's chest, the man's arm around the woman's neck
(9) CARD 13 MF- young man is standing with downcast head buried in his arm, behind him is the figure of a woman who appears to be naked from waist up lying in bed
(10) CARD 16 - blank card
Draw-a-Person Test - this test was used primarily as a support to data related to the child's self-concept gathered from the other instruments.
The Researchers : The Team Approach
The research team interviewed the children individually. Each of them was responsible for establishing rapport with the individual child, facilitating a spontaneous and non-threatening exchange and encouraging the child's freest-possible expression of thoughts and feelings.
The research team worked as a team in all aspects of the study; from pre-testing, modification of research instruments, design of the interview procedure, to assessment and integration of research results. Weekly team meetings were held for consultation and sharing of findings and team workshops were held to consolidate and integrate the final research write-up.
1.Selection of Children
ICCB provided the initial contact with some child-caring institutions and the research team coordinated with them for the selection of specific children and scheduling for interviews.
It was found out that children with experiences in prostitution hardly dropped-by the centers and there were very few who stay in. Most of the few were only in a shelter or institution because (1) they had become pregnant, (2) they had become sick or in need of hospitalization, or (3) they were caught for vagrancy, snatching or some other offense and held in the custody of MYRC.
The "team approach" has emerged as a necessary measure for three important reasons:
The team approach provides the chance for "checking out"- each other's feelings, perceptions, impressions and insights. Any special difficulties or peculiarities of the phenomenon become readily apparent when experienced by two or more team members. Furthermore, working in a team provides "more eyes, more ears and more hearts," perceiving a given situation at the same time. Often, each team member is able to pick up details or aspects that the others may not notice and when shared gives the team a wider perspective on the problem. A certain degree of objectivity can also be achieved that is more difficult to attain when working alone.
Because team members are individuals and have varied styles, they are able to learn from each other's experiences and through individual trial-and-error, find the best ways to work. During "cliniquing sessions," where interviewing experiences were shared, one may adopt and try certain specific style that was found to be successful.
Lastly and equally important is the aspect of burn-out prevention. Working in a team has consistently and effectively provided researchers with immense support in dealing with both the physical and emotional "overload" that comes with studying particularly sensitive, complex, difficult, sad or painful issues. Formal and informal sessions provided the team members a venue to speak, not only about respondents' issues, but also of feelings, insights and reactions that arise from those issues. This kind of burn-out prevention is particularly vital for studies where the data-gatherer is required to "jump into" the respondents' world (specially in situations where trauma and abuse have been experienced), to empathize with him/her, to feel his/her joy, pain, anger, or confusion and then "come out" again and "recover," and organize the data objectively.
Finding street-based children, on the other hand, were even more difficult. The institutions which were initially in-contact do not have a direct contact with street-based prostituted children thus "tracking down" became a matter of "working on leads," i.e., a social worker would refer them to another institution and the institution would then suggest particular workers from another institution and so on down the line.
Therefore, based from careful analysis, it was decided that it was best to interview the center-based children who were involved in prostitution first. Specific criteria were set and observed in interviewing the child, namely (1) the child's age range must be 13-17 years old; (2) the social worker had carefully selected the child such that she/he have had previous experience in prostitution; and (3) initial interviewing with the child should have shown that the child will be able to comprehend the questions and give meaningful and understandable answers.
2. Orientation for Partner NGOs/Community Workers
Prior to the interview process, the research team and ICCB met with the head and workers of the institutions concerned. The head and the workers of the institutions were properly briefed about ICCB, the purpose of the study and the approaches conducted. Likewise, they have also given proper orientation regarding the mechanics of the study. The mechanics include: what the children will be asked to do, what kinds of questions they will be asked, the duration of the interview, the particular space and time requirements and the kind of assistance that would be needed from the workers.
3. Pre-Testing Instruments
The interview/ assessment battery was pre-tested with two (2) children at the Virlanie Foundation for understandability, difficulty level and length of testing time. The changes resulting from the pre-test are as follows:
The Clinical Interview was streamlined to remove redundant questions.
Questions that had proven to be unproductive, or not useful, were eliminated. One example is the question on Life Satisfaction, which involved the child's choosing a level on a drawing of a bucket to correspond to her current life satisfaction. This was removed because most children answered between level one and two only ("Kuntentong-kuntento" and "Masaya din pero may kulang pa" ["Very contented" and "A bit happy although something is missing."]), thus not providing an adequate range of responses.
The sequence of questions was revised to better suit the children's' usual trend of thought.
Several questions were revised to open the way for a child's positive or negative responses, instead of forcing both positive and negative aspects, e.g. in the item on self-descriptions, instead of asking only "What do you like about this person? What do you dislike?", we ask, "What can you say about this person?"
In the Sentence Completion Test, however, some balancing of negative and positive aspects had to be done for several items, e.g. "Sa palagay ko hindi matutupad ang mga ambisyon ko dahil..." ("I feel my dreams will not come true because...") was balanced with "Sa palagay ko matutupad ang mga ambisyon ko dahil..." ("I feel my dreams will come true because..." to show both sides of the issue.
Some questions which respondents found difficult to comprehend were rephrased using the words that "worked" during the pre-test, e.g. "Nagkasala ako nang..." ("I sinned when...") was rephrased to "Pakiramdam ko nagkasala ako noong..." (I feel I sinned when ).
As explained previously, the original "couple card" for Projective Stories (Card 4 of the Thematic Apperception Test) was replaced with three pictures chosen from magazines. These three pictures were then pre-tested in order to choose one, but since each one was shown to elicit a different aspect of relationships, it was decided to use all three.
4. Rapport-Building and Ensuring a Conducive Atmosphere
To facilitate a safe and conducive atmosphere for the respondents, the interviews were done within the institution or community. Institutions, however, were requested to provide an area where respondent and interviewer can converse in a relative privacy and free from distractions. This is done to ensure the respondent's confidence and to support free, spontaneous, honest and in-depth self-disclosure.
One institution forewarned the interviewers that most of the children respondents have difficulties in giving trust and would feel uncomfortable sharing about their private lives and would even resort to lying. On this premise, it was decided that a rapport-building session with the children must be rendered before the actual interview. This was a separate session, lasting from one to two hours, which take place one week before the first individual interview.
During the initial session, after a brief introduction of the participants, several children signified eagerness to talk about themselves and share feelings and experiences. On this account, it was decided that group-rapport-building sessions should be held for only 30 minutes to one hour, afterwhich, individual interviews begin. However, the plan was again modified to individual session, giving the children the space to make their own revelations without being subjected to group's influence.
5. The Interview Proper
The general sequence of the clinical assessment interview is as follows:
A. conversation with social worker and/or reading of respondent's case file to orient the interviewer on the child's case and experience
B. Rapport-building session
1.Draw-a-Person Test and questions on self-description, wishes & aspirations
3.Questions about "rehabilitation" experiences and heterosexual relationships
4.Questions on Significant Life Events
5.Questions on experiences in prostitution
The interviewers maintained a friendly, open and non-judgmental attitude towards the respondents. The interview was carried out like an informal conversation, although, the child was introduced to the presence of a tape recorder for the purpose of documentation. The child was assured of the confidentiality of the interview.
The interview questions were not asked in a rigid and mechanical fashion that would compel the child to shift abruptly from topic to topic. Instead, the questions served as guides for the interviewer to ask when appropriate, following the child's natural trend of thought. Doing so has deepened the process and allowed the respondent to expound and reflect on her/his sharing.
At any given moment, the interviewers were constantly aware of the need to do therapy with the child. Several of the interview questions "opened up" topics and memories that released difficult feelings and issues in the child. When a need for a therapeutic intervention arises, e.g., when a child would like to release or express feelings, to clarify distorted assumptions, to gain a more constructive and positive perspective, or even just to show the child that she/he is accepted whether she/he is being cooperative or not, the interviewers kept in mind to place the child's welfare above the interests of data-gathering. In cases when a child's responses being affected by the therapeutic interventions and the child is emotionally ready, the interviewer completes the interview before employing the intervention. In almost all cases, the clinical interview was also a therapeutic intervention.
Procedures for Data Analysis
Primary Data Analysis
After the interview, the data gathered was clinically interpreted and assessed. The process took several steps: the entire taped interview was transcribed; results of the projective tests were organized, clinically interpreted and summarized; the child's responses to different topics were likewise organized; and finally, a profile of the child's predominant cognitive, social, emotional and moral/spiritual functioning was made.
Two groups of information were produced from the data-gathering. These groups of data and the way they were primarily processed are:
1. The child's responses to the Clinical Interview questions
The child's responses to specific questions in the interview as recorded in cassette tapes were transcribed. This step is crucial as the interview data was used not only in terms of the child's answers to specific questions but also as a reflection of her/his inner life. Thus, casual comments, statements and questions about particular topics, e.g. about her/himself, about significant people and relationships, about her sexuality, womanhood/manhood and prostitution were likewise served as important data. The manner of responding and the emotions that showed as she said certain things, e.g. sadness, laughter or hesitations helped to form a clinical impression of her/his inner world. Specific answers to the questions were highlighted and so were particularly significant responses.
A summary form was then created, organizing the child's responses to the different topics and questions in the interview. Since the verbatim interview was likely to reveal the child's attitudes to different topics in a random fashion (according to her/his trend of thought), the responses were taken from different parts of the interview and were re-distributed according to general topics/questions to help in data processing later on. For the purpose of this summary form, most responses were summarized, integrated or rephrased for brevity. Only significant phrases were quoted verbatim.
2. The child responses to the Projective Techniques
The child's responses to the projective techniques (the Sentence Completion Test, the Projective Stories Test and the Draw-a-Person Test) were likewise transcribed verbatim and then processed.
a) Sentence Completion Test
Completed sentences were grouped according to sub-topic. Responses to a sub-topic were grouped together to give an idea of the child's attitude in this area. When possible, an integrated "thesis statement" that summarized the child's general response on a sub-topic was created. Responses to some sentence stems were relevant on their own and were therefore used as data per se without integrating into other responses.
b) Thematic Apperception Test
Transcribed stories, summarized story plots, essence' statements (i.e., the child's fundamental, personal belief reflected in the story and problem-solving strategies employed in the story) were noted down.
Using clinical judgment, the projective content of all the stories were then extracted. This projective content which was taken as a whole gave the researcher a general idea of a particular child's presently felt deep emotions (moods/feelings) and pre-occupying issues (predominant themes). It had also given the researcher ideas on the child's self-concept, problem- solving strategies, attitudes towards men and women, heterosexual relationships and sex, needs and wishes and world view (i.e., "the world is...." or "people are...").
c) Draw-a-Person Test
Each child's drawing of her/himself was clinically judged for general impact, appearance and certain specific details as indicators of self-concept. This data was used as a support to other data on the child's self-concept and pervading feelings.
The summarized data was used to fill categories based on the present study's basic research questions. There were two kinds of categories, background category and inner world category.
The background category, giving information on the events in a child's life, was briefly covered. This category served to acquaint the researchers with the children and where they are coming from. They have also provided a backdrop against which the inner world of these children can be viewed and understood which includes:
Significant Life Events (including quality of family life)
Experience of Prostitution
Experience of Physical/Sexual Abuse (if any)
Interpretation, Integration and Write-Up
The organized data was categorically analyzed and qualitatively studied for common trends and/or patterns that emerged among respondents. Implications to recovery/healing were noted for significant findings and appropriate recommendations were made. The interpretation, integration and write-up were accomplished by the entire research team through discussions and arriving at group's consensus under consultations with the research director.
Background Data (Introduction to the Research Results)
In order to situate the children's inner worlds in their "outer" context, the following section will show the children's particular life circumstances, significant persons and current experiences in a "rehabilitation" center. This will help us understand their thoughts and feelings and inner dynamics in the light of their family history and culture. A summary highlighting significant experiences will be presented subsequently.
Highlights and summary
The experience of losing a parent or both parents, through death, separation or abandonment was very significant to both the girls and boys. After being abandoned by their remaining parent, most of them experienced living in step-families. Another striking revelation was the abuse in the family. All of the girls were physically abused, three were also sexually-abused by family members and relatives. All but two of the boys were physically abused. The remaining two, however, were verbally abused.
The conditions experienced by the children (both the girls and the boys) at home had led them to subsequently ran away. Running away transported them to the streets. They lived there for a time until they were brought to their respective centers. It was in the street where they "succumb into prostitution."
In the centers, the girls had positive experiences such as they have provided opportunities for studying, doing learning household chores and having their physical and emotional needs met. The boys, likewise, liked the recreational activities conducted, they were able to learn, work and help other children and practically enjoy most the companionship of their peers.
The desire to change their lives, having a family feeling in the center and being fed up with streetlife were primarily the reasons why the girls have stayed in the center. For the boys, on the other hand, among the reasons for staying in the centers are: the "good (safe and clean) life," the opportunity for education and development.
The people in the center, specifically the social workers, houseparents and the Executive Director, were mentioned as the persons who have provided them opportunities for change. They said that these people were kind to them, have given them love, attention, care. These people have also set limits or disciplined them fairly, without degrading them and were genuinely concerned with their physical and emotional well-being.
TABLE 1: THEIR LIVES AND CIRCUMSTANCES (GIRLS/BOYS)
BOYS AGE AND EDUCATIONAL
ATTAINMENT The girls in this study ranged in age from 14 to 18, with most of them (7) between the ages of 15 and 16. There was a little consistency in their educational backgrounds as half of them (6) had only grade school education while the other half have gone to high school. The lowest educational attainment was one girl with no formal education at all and the highest was one girl who has finished 3rd year high school. The ages of the boys in our study ranged from 13 to 19, with half (6) of them falling between the ages of 13 to 15 and the other half (6) between the ages of 16 to 19. With regards to their educational attainment, half (6) of them have gone to high school, three (3) have reached third year high school. Four (4) have reached grade school and the remaining two (2) have no schooling at all. BIRTH ORDER Data on the girls' birth order presents an interesting "trend." Five (5) are the youngest in the family and four (4) are the only child. The two (2) others are middle children and one (1) is an eldest child. Half (6) of the boys are middle-children. Two (2) are the eldest in the family, two (2) are the youngest and two (2) are the only child. LOSING A PARENT This category surfaced as the researchers encountered one child after another who had lost a parent (or two) at some point in their lives. This aspect of children's lives was quite glaring and seems highly significant in the light of their subsequent "aimless" lives.
All of the girls in the study have lost a parent, either through death (6 of them), marital separation (3) or being born fatherless (3), most at a very young age (when they were less than 7 years old).
Half of the girls have lost both parents (when the remaining parent in the above situations decided to abandon them) (6); parents who had separated would go their own ways, leaving children with grandparents or other relatives (2); a mother would die and the father would abandon the children (2); a father would die and the mother would abandon the child (1); or a single mother would abandon her child to adoptive parents, who would subsequently abandon her to relatives (1).
These children who were abandoned by both parents went on to live with a string of relatives and/or adoptive parents. More often than not, they have no "real" connection with the significant adult, they were treated like "second class citizens" and often, they experienced physical and emotional abuse. Losing a parent seems to be a significant finding when it comes to the lives of streetchildren.
All of them have lost a parent either through death (5), marital separation (5) or through abandonment (2).
Two (2) have lost both parents when a marital separation occurred. As a result, one (1) was put up for adoption and the other was left with the aunt.
With a common denominator of losing one parent, majority of the boys (8) have had step-families, four (4) of whom have step-siblings, three (3) were left in the care of their grandmother and one (1) had an adoptive family. The one who was adopted, however, was returned to his biological family at nine years old, where he ended up being physically abused. LOSING OUR FATHERS Nine (9) of the girls lost or did not have fathers. Three (3) were children born of single mothers; two (2) of the girls' fathers died; two (2) fathers left due to marital separation; and two (2) abandoned their children after their wives died.
Of the three (3) who still have fathers and lived with them, one had an abusive and neglectful father, while the other two have stepmothers who were abusive. All of the boys have lost their fathers. The two (2) boys lost both of their parents. Nine (9) have lost one of the parents. The remaining one (1) was abandoned at the age three when his mother went overseas. LOSING OUR MOTHERS Nine (9) girls grew up without mothers. The mothers of the four (4) girls died, one (1) separated from her husband and left all the children with him, and four (4) mothers have subsequently abandoned their children .
The three (3) remaining girls still have mothers. Two (2) grew up with mothers who were very abusive, both verbally and physically (incidentally, these last two mothers have no husbands and they raised their children single-handedly). One (1) had a mother who was a drunkard and would not let her hold money (this aspect of being deprived of money will be significant later on in her entry -and seeming addiction- to prostitution). Only three (3) of them had lost a mother (1 lost his mother through separation). At the age of ten, the boy's mother left with his two younger siblings. It is noted that this boy (who have a father) ran away due to physical abuse he experienced with the father in moments of intoxication. ABUSE IN THE FAMILY All of the girls were physically abused by immediate family members [father, mother, step-mother/brother] or adoptive parents.
Four (4) of these girls' pattern of abuse continued into other aspects of their lives: two (2) were physically abused by their "amo" (employer) when they worked as househelpers and two (2) were later abused by a boyfriend.
Three (3) of them were sexually abused in the family (by father, an uncle, by a househelper, brother)
Ten (10) of the boys were physically abused. They experienced the abuse within the families. Four (4) were physically abused by the mother, two (2) by their fathers, one (1) by both parents and one (1) by the step father and one (1) by an uncle who supposedly took care of him. The remaining one (1) who was not physically abused at home ended up being abused by his male employer.
The two (2) who were not physically abused, they were verbally abused by either the mother or the maternal grandmother.
Inner World category consists of the broad categories emphasized by the research questions, namely:
Wishes and Aspirations
Experience of Prostitution
A data table was created whereby each column represented data on each child and each row represented a category (or sub-category, e.g., the response to a particular question) that was used in the final analysis and interpretation.
The Inner World is the main focus of this research. Data on the children's inner world was gleaned from the three main sources:
Children's responses to the Clinical interview;
Clinical Analysis and evaluation and of children's Projective Stories; and
Children's responses to the Sentence Completion test.
Results from these data sources was analyzed and interpreted to classify them into meaningful categories. Subsequently each category was examined qualitatively: tabulated and ranked according to frequency of response to reveal the most predominant trends.
The numbers shown in the presentation (by table) indicated frequency of responses. However, since this data was gathered from the many different responses of each child in many different parts of psychological assessment, i.e. multiple responses, it was taken as frequency on its own to be compared with the frequencies of the other answers and not to be interpreted in relation to the number of girls. Responses were then ranked according to these frequencies.
TABLE 2: BOYS
INTERPRETATION BOYS I. SELF-CONCEPT A. WHAT I THINK OF MYSELF
Majority of the boys perceive themselves as "matulungin" (helpful and giving):
- help and share (tumutulong at namimigay)
- want to become a police to care for the children
- give to fellow children (mamigay sa kapwa bata)
- concerned to other things (may pagtingin sa ibang mga bagay)
- get along well with others (marunong makisama)
- patient, avoid quarrel (mapag-pasensiya at ayaw ng gulo)
- I understand (marunong akong umintindi)
Next in frequency (10) they see themselves in relation to being taken cared of and being neglected as equally frequent:
being taken cared of
- cared for by adopted person (inalagaan ng ampon)
- landed in good hands (napunta sa mabuti)
- sa isang center (Bahay Tuluyan)
- happy now, life's better (masaya sa ngayon, nakahanap ng magandang kalagayan)
- somewhat happy because I'm in Pangarap Shelter for Boys (medyo masaya dahil nasa Pangarap)
- being helped by a social worker (tinutulungan ako ng social worker)
EMOTIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY NEGLECTED
- feeling unloved, uncared for, neglected, deprived, poor and hungry
- desperately seeking help, unable to reach dreams
- "dying" and in pain
INSECURE ABOUT ABILITIES AND IN FACING THE FUTURE
- feeling inadequate and insecure
- uncertain of abilities and future (alanganin, natatakot)
- lack of skills, they say we don't use our heads (sabi nila di ginagamit ang talino)
- lazy to study or do not listen (tamad mag-aral o di nakikinig)
In the same light, the boys perceive themselves to be equally kind (mabait) and quarrelsome (pala-away). There is a seeming conflict between wanting to be good at the same time trying to be able to express their anger and frustration constructively.
- good, quiet, respect for parents (mabuti, tahimik, pag-galang sa magulang ko)
- liar, ill-tempered, wild, quite disrespectful (sinungaling, masungit, bastos, salbahe, medyo barumbado)
- disobedient, quarrelsome, answer back mother/parents (sumusuway, nakikipag-away, sagutin sa nanay/magulang)
- Somebody knocked down the fishball I was selling, I shot him, but he did not die. (may binaril ako, tinumba yung fishball na binebenta ko pero hindi siya namatay)
The boys always saw themselves as matampuhin (emotionally sensitive and easily hurt):
- gets hurt easily (madaling masaktan), cry easily but don't give up (mababa ang luha pero di sumusuko)
- emotionally sensitive (masyadong maramdamin o dinidibdib, masyadong matampuhin )
- run away if was scolded (naglalayas pag pinagagalitan)
- once I got angry with God and renounced Him (minsan nagalit ako sa Diyos at itinakwil ko siya)
The boys equally saw themselves as loving (mapagmahal), thief (magnanakaw), chaotic and aimless life (magulo).
- with my experience, I bumped and fell (sa naging karanasan ko, nauntog, nalaglag) - has gotten himself into trouble and does not know how to get out of it except to sleep, die, have vague hopes
- leading aimless life-headed for ruin (magulo ang buhay)
- steal bottles, hold-upper (nagnakaw ng bote, hold-upper)
Some of the boys perceive themselves as:
(three of each)
BEING ABLE TO STUDY
- studious (mapag-aral, magbasa)
- learns easily (madaling matuto)
- at work (magtrabaho)
HAVE CHANGED (NAGBAGO)
- has overcome past bitterness, problems or wayward life- wants to fulfill dreams with the help of those who care
- progressive (maunlad)
- sick (maysakit: syphilis)
- I got sick (nagkasakit ako)
side interest (PAGBIBISYO)
- drugs, sniffing solvent (nagso-solvent)
- smoking (paninigarilyo)
(Two of each): steady, stable (matatag)
has the capacity to hold a job) (may kakayahang magtrabaho)
- skillful hands (magaling ang kamay, kapag ginawa, tapos agad)
LACKING IN APPEARANCE
- quite unattractive (medyo mapangit)
- unpleasant hair (pangit ang buhok)
LIKES TO STROLL (mahilig maglakwatsa)
- outgoer, likes to stroll around (layas, mahilig maglakwatsa)
- "armoring self," imprudent (mayabang)
Other positive self-images had to do with being able to do things well:
- cleans well (magaling maglinis), dances well (sumayaw), mag-karate, plays chess well (magaling sa chess at pag-gala)
- bright (matalino), frank (prangka), have something to show-off (may ibubuga/ ipagyayabang/ ipagmamalaki)
- happy (masaya), simple (simpleng tao lang, maayos, buo)
- matangkad, big body (malaki ang katawan), long hair (mahaba ang buhok), pretty (maganda), beautiful eyes (maganda ang mata), sexy, clean /neat (malinis)
- good at earning money (magaling kumita ng pera), my girlfriend is with my barkada (syota ko kasama ang barkada)
Other self-negative images had to do with physical appearance:
- small hands (maliit ang kamay), parang gorilla, like having swollen lymphatic gland in the neck ( parang may mga kulani sa leeg), boastful/braggart (mayabang pumorma), rich (mayaman)
- no enemies (walang kalaban)
- nag-ko-call boy
Majority of the boys perceive themselves as "matulungin" (giving, helpful to others), "tumutulong at namimigay sa nakakatanda at sa kapwa bata," want to be a policeman or caretaker of streetchildren. They seemed to have assumed the caregiver role. There is also the need to please other, perhaps, as a survival mechanism in order to be taken cared of in return.
Following closely in frequency, they see themselves in relation to being taken cared of at the same time, being emotionally and physically neglected. Next to this another "split" or contradiction--they see themselves as "pala-away" (quarrelsome) and "mabait" (good).
It is clear that being nurtured and cared for, one hand, and being neglected, on the other form the core of the boy's self-concept. They see themselves as caregivers but underneath this assumed role is a very strong and intense need to be taken cared of. The implications of this and other seeming contradictions for therapy will be discussed later on.
Half of the children have feelings of guilt for the wrongdoing they have committed towards the adults in their lives:
- being punished (pinarurusahan)
- scolded by mother (pinagalitan ng nanay)
- I did my parents wrong (nagkamali ako sa magulang, nagkasala ako)
- I lied to my parents (nagsisinungaling ako sa magulang ako)
Three of the children felt guilty over stealing:
- thief (magnakaw), snatcher
Two children each felt guilty over fighting (nakikipag-away) and running away (paglalayas):
- rude (bastos), fighting (nagkakaaway-away)
- I ran away from home (lumayas sa amin)
Other feelings of guilt were on:
- having sex with other boys at the center
- vices (pagbibisyo)
- when I turned away from God (nuong itinakwil ko ang Diyos)
- I'm bad (ako'y masama)
When asked what they're ashamed of, five understood the questions as being shy or mahiyain.
- bachelor who should be ashamed of wrongdoings (binata na dapat mahiya sa gawaing nagawa)
- I can not tell everything about my problem (hindi ko masabi lahat tungkol sa problema ko)
- shy (mahiyain)
- I don't know the person very well (di ko pa kilala masyado ang tao)
- when talking to the visitors (kapag kinakausap ng mga bisita)
Three, however, felt ashamed of their behavior towards the opposite sex.
Other feelings of shame were on:
- being homosexual (unang tingin nila sa akin, bakla ako)
- being a callboy (nakagawa ako ng hindi maganda-pagiging call boy)
- maybe I'm guilty (siguro guilty ako)
WHEN DOING SOMETHING WRONG-
What happens when they do something wrong? Four feel guilty about it.
Three feel regretful and blame the self.
Two would correct the situation by avoiding the opportunity to do the act again.
B. WHAT OTHERS THINK OF ME
- kind (mabait)
- being able to accept my real self
- industrious (masipag)
- bad person (masamang tao)
- lazy (tamad)
- they do not trust me (walang tiwala sila sa akin)
- I'm not a liar (hindi ako manloloko)
- I'm not violent (hindi barumbado)
- I've changed (ako ay nagbago)/ competent
- I don't go for homosexuals (hindi ako namamakla)
- others (consists mostly of positive qualities) (denials?)
- I am not a swindler (di balatuba, di gala)
- not timid (di torpe), flirt (maarte), show off (pasikat/mayabang)
- rarely approached by girls (di madalas lapitan ng babae)
- industrious (masipag), loving (mapagmahal), happy (masaya), serious-minded (seryosong tao), jealous (seloso)
- I will follow even if I die (kahit mamatay ang sarili susunod ako)
- I have skills that he does not have and he has skills which I don't have (may mga skills ako na hindi kaya, may mga skills sila na di ko kaya)
- handsome (pogi), tall (matangkad), skinny (payatot), clean/neat (di madumi)
It is interesting that the boy's proclamation of their being different are the opposite of what they are reported to be, or to be doing. Could this be another form of denial?
D. ROLE MODEL
The most predominantly mentioned quality of role model was of being
NURTURING, SACRIFICING and HELPFUL, one who would treat them as part of the family, such as:
- good friend, siblings, my God (mabuting kaibigan, kapatid, aking Diyos)
- with commitment like my social worker (may commitment gaya ng social worker ko)
- will love somebody (may iibigin)
- helfpul (matulungin sa kapwa)
- thinks of others or the child's welfare and not his own. (iniisip yung ibang tao o kapakanan ng bata at hindi yung sarili.)
The second predominant quality was of being mabait:
- good (mabuti), can get along with others (marunong makisama), patient (matiyaga)
The third quality was of being COMPETENT or BEING ABLE TO ACHIEVE A CERTAIN SKILL:
- can sings well (magaling kumanta), good at climbing the palo sebo (magaling umakyat ng palo sebo)
- finished schooling (nakatapos ng pag-aaral), intelligent (matalino), has work (may hanapbuhay)
OTHERS were on being free, possessing goals, cheerful, no vices, rich, pretty:
- free (malaya), with ambition in life (may ambisyon), cheerful (masayahin), no vice (walang bisyo)
- singer, macho dancer, stow away
Majority of the feelings that came out from the boy's stories centered around their feelings of being in PAIN- "masakit." There was pain felt due to neglect, separation and aggression. And if unable to face this deep emotional pain, it was redirected towards the body and translated into physical pain.
- pain of torture
- pain of "victim felt by victim"
- pain of victim felt by perpetrator after he was executed
- body aches
- stomachache, headache, "at the nape" (sa batok), "asthma" (hika)
- "when operated on" (habang inoopera)
EMOTIONAL PAIN over:
- being alone and uncared for
- nowhere to go- "walang mapupuntahan"
- "will die" (no food), walang magdidilig (nobody will love))
- mahirap mawalan ng kasama)
- man-woman relationships
- jealousy over girlfriend
- boyfriend leaving for abroad
- "emotionally hurt" (nasasaktan ang damdamin) - "girl crying" (babaing umiiyak)
- male aggression
- man talked to her , able to talk to the girl (kinibo siya ng lalaki, nakakibo ng babae)
- might not accept mother's letter (baka di tanggapin ang sulat ng nanay)
Because of the pain the boys have felt, there is constant LONGING FOR THEM TO BE HAPPY. They wished for a:
- happy family
- "couple's sharing stories" (mag-asawang nagku-kuwentuhan)
- new life with a wife
- longing to be loved by father, helping mother
- parents saving for children's future
- happy relationship
- love relationship, having a boyfriend/girlfriend (kasintahan or syota)
- being with others
- fulfillment of dreams by striving
- happy place
Initially, the boys expressed their longingness to be happy but underneath there was a feeling of intense SADNESS which was brought about by neglect and abuse they have experienced from the significant adults in their lives. Much of the sadness were:
- due to relationships
- separation, saying goodbye to lover, can't locate their child (hindi mahanap ang anak)
- always scolded by mother (palaging inaaway ng nanay), don't want mother and father kissing each other (ayaw naghahalikan ang nanay at tatay), "thinking of writing to mother" (nag-iisip magsulat sa nanay)
- with regards to peers
- envious of other children, did not help children
- friend always quarreling with him (palaging inaaway ng kaibigan)
- due to neglect
- no more fruit, few leaves (kaunti ang dahon), no place to live (walang matirhan)
- not intelligent (hindi marunong), no one to teach him/her (walang magtuturo sa kaniya)
- depressed, unsolvable problems
However, in contrast to the pain, some of the children expressed feelings of SARAP- "heaven."
- parents kissing, mother and her boyfriend honeymooning, "nagliligawan, naglalambingan" (romancing)
- "sarap ng nagpapagahasa at nagpapatay" (the "joy" of being raped and killing)
- nagtitinda ng bote at diyaryo, naliligo sa dagat" (selling bottles and newspaper, bathing in the river)
- "nang-gagamot" (healing)
Feeling abandoned by their loved ones was also expressed by half of the children:
- unloved, uncared for
- abandoned by family or by girlfriend
Equally frequent next to feeling of abandonment were:
- feelings of regret - achieved
- feelings of uncertainty - sleepy
- feeling hopeful - afraid
- feeling tired - ruined
- feeling in love - hungry
- nahihirapan - angry/bitter
- abused - strong
- wanting to belong - excited
- nagtatampo - haunted
- nakakahiya - guilty
In the sentence completion test, one of the open-ended sentences was on happiness: Sometimes, I am happy when...
(Minsan masayang-masaya ako dahil...)
Half of their answers were related to the fulfillment of their selves as an individual:
a. the satisfaction of basic needs
b. enjoying (nalilibang)
c. being competent
- was able to achieve something (may na achieve na gawin)
- when there's a change in me (pag nagkaroon ng pagbabago sa sarili ko)
Four of them feel happy due to the relationships they have at present:
a. being taken cared of
b. friends as source of happiness
c. others: - I don't have a problem I am happy (wala kaong problema, masaya ako)
- Jesus is happy, the Lord is happy (masaya ang Jesus, masaya ang Diyos)
With regards to sadness, I become extremely sad sometimes because... (Kung minsan ako ay labis na nalulungkot dahil...) majority (8) of the boy's source of sadness were related to their being separated from or experiencing conflict with a loved one:
a. with the family: when I was separated from my parents, I wasn't with them, my real family, I remember them, I don't get to see my siblings (nahiwalay ako sa magulang ko, di ko kasama ang magulang ko, tunay kong pamilya, naaalala ko ang pamilya ko, hindi kami nagkikita ng mga kapatid ko)
b. with the opposite sex: my girlfriend will leave me, no love (iiwanan ng siyota ko, walang pagmamahal)
c. others: there's a reason, problems, when I don't like what I get to see, if there's always rape (may dahilan, may problema, kapag di nakita ang gusto ko, laging may ginagahasa)
Majority of the boy's themes revolved around their perception of man-woman relationships. These relationships have served as a substitute for the relationship which they really long for in their family.
MAG-SYOTA (or GIRLFRIEND-BOYFRIEND)
young love will not last, will just create problems for the couple and for the others around them
- leads to or could lead to separation -does not last
- loves and misses each other very much, they break up impulsively and regret it later on.
- "children can't yet..." (di pa puwede and bata)
- sleeping couple have a problem and nowhere to go, will sleep and eat.
- two people love each other and do not care about the neglect and suffering of others
b. female perception of the relationship (woman usually suffers)
- woman crying for boyfriend is leaving for abroad, maybe woman will marry someone else
- woman abandoned by boyfriend, will avoid him for the rest of her life
- got pregnant (nabuntis)
- woman inviting man to have sex
- nagliligawan, man and woman talking to each other, American courting a woman
- chair (upuan), dirty (madumi), muddy (maputik), change clothes (magpalit ng damit)
d. positive relationship- happy
e. possessiveness in the relationship
- being choked in sleep so as not to be abandoned (natutulog na sinasakal para huwag iwanan)
- "petty quarrel" (nagtampuhan) did not introduce girlfriend to brother
- afraid to be outwitted (takot masulot)
The second most predominant theme is on their family life, their wish to have a happy family at the same time, the actual reality of their relationship with their mothers.
a. positive- a happy family is one who loves and takes care of each other
- love of parents to a child (pagmamahal ng magulang sa anak)
- loved so much by the parents (mahal na mahal siya ng magulang niya)
- dreaming of a bigger family (nangangarap na dumami ang dahon ng puno)
- stay together, helping each other (mag-sama-sama, tulong-tulong), happy family until the end (masayang pamilya hanggang sa kahulihulihan)
- will bring family to a happy place
- couple saves for the good future of their child
- father kissing son goodnight
- child asking father to teach him to play the violin
- mother- being helped by son in sweeping the floor
- either parent begging in the street looking for a son
negative perception of mother
- mother- bad to sleep in a hunchbacked position
- rough (matapang), ill-tempered (masungit), spanks (namamalo)
- dying of stomachache and asthma (hika)
- my mother and her boyfriend's honeymoon at the hotel was lewd (bastos ang honeymoon sa hotel ng nanay ko at syota niya), mother and father kissing
- fear of rejection, sad (nalulungkot), thinking (nag-iisip), will write the mother but might not be accepted (susulat sa nanay pero baka di tanggapin ang sulat)
Majority of the children's stories also depicted man as being violent, abusive and abandoning the woman, in turn they are suffering these abuses. These strong negative perceptions of man-woman relationships run counter to their wish to build a happy family.
a. man as the abuser
- man who beats, rapes and kills woman should be hanged even if he is rich- should be executed, he thought he's popular (dapat bitayin, akala niya sikat siya), rich man deceived, raped and killed drug addict
- man regrets raping and killing a girl- because of lustful desire (dahil sa pagnanasa), has long jail sentence
- abusive abandoning husband
- wife's perception
- woman left abusive husband, will become a beggar, look for work and start a new life
- woman beggar abandoned by husband, will die if not helped by man
- crying- felt weak, hurt the wife (nanlalambot, nasaktan ang asawa)
- husband's perception- will separate, find new wife
- woman killed by man - faithless (taksil) - man will die through the electric chair
- murderer should be hanged to stop him from victimizing men and to be able to feel the victim's pain- "he thought he's popular" (akala niya sikat siya)
- abusing a prostitute
- was abused (babaing binalasubas ng lalaki), will be paid (babayaran), will be left out (iiwanan)
b. woman as the victim
girl who allowed herself to be raped- got rich should be executed and die in hell (babaing nagpagahasa- yumaman, dapat bitayin at mamatay sa hell)
It is also noted that other sub-themes in relation to this issue on man-woman violence were on the man being punished either by hanging or electric chair and the man regretting the act of violence he had committed.
Their intense preoccupation with relationships came out again in another predominant theme which deals with their understanding of marriage,
how pregnancy should lead to marriage and how a relationship full of love will lead to a happy marriage.
a. pregnancy leads to marriage
- kissing will lead to pregnancy, couple will be forced to get married. Man will work and woman stays at home. Couple will fight due to man's unfaithfulness.
- "courting" (nagliligawan), sweethearts (magsyota), gotten pregnant (nabuntis), get married (magpapakasal)
b. love, positive courtship leads to positive marriage
- man proposing to a woman, she will accept and they will be happy because of love.
- love each other, will enter into living together, getting married (nagmamahalan, magsasama, mag-aasawa)
c. description-process of courtship leading to marriage
- man helps woman, courtship, marriage, have children
- embracing, kissing, got married (nagyayakapan, naghahalikan, nag-asawa)
d. description of married couples
- married couple talking after putting 5 children to sleep
- married couple had sex afterwhich man will go to office
e. homosexual relationship
- happy because can now get married (masaya kasi puwedeng magpakasal)
- after sex
The intense pain and sadness that they feel in their lives due to loss and violence that they have been subjected to, have forced them to create numerous ways in dealing with the trauma in their lives.
DEALING WITH THE TRAUMA IN THEIR LIVES
- dead, has to be buried (patay na siya, ibuburol)
- child who will be embalmed because he sinned. If he is being embalmed, he becomes an embalmer, will slaughter without nauseating
(Batang kinatay kasi may kasalanan o ie-embalsama. Kung ini-embalsama, magiging embalsamador. Kakatay ng hindi nandidiri.)
- fell, got a bump, fallen asleep, sniff solvent when was awaken (Nalaglag, nabukol, bigla siyang natulog, pagkagising nag-solvent)
b. confronting or facing - strengthens oneself (tinitibayan ang loob)
- selling newspapers and bottles, picking up fruits
- person who gathers firewood, afraid of animals and snakes but needs firewood (taong nangangahoy, alanganin sa mga hayop at ahas pero kailangan ng panggatong)
- Bamboo that was oppressed by other trees, by storm, it will not be cut.
As long as there is bamboo, we can build a house despite the absence of trees. (Kawayan na inapi ng ibang puno, iyon pala bagyo, hindi siya mapuputol. kahit walang puno, pag may kawayan puwede pang magtayo ng bahay.)
- reading to escape conflict with children
- guilty- might be jailed, "I was thinking of running away or taking up suicide" (iniisip kung tatakas o magpapakamatay)
d. fear - child who witnessed the killing of another child fears the retaliation of murderers who were apprehended
- sex- peeping tom- the excitement of voyeurism
Equally mentioned (9 each) were themes on being neglected at the same time wishing to be successful and competent. Despite feeling the loss of being abandoned, there is an equal wish for them to rise out of that loneliness and achieve based on one's own merits.
a. child dies due to neglect and loneliness
- mountain that is dry because was neglected, eventually died (Bundok na tuyot dahil walang nag-aalaga, namatay.)
Water was absorbed by the soil, trees will soon die . (Nawala ang tubig, sinipsip ng lupa, mamamatay yung puno, damo, daga.)
- useless (walang pakinabang)- goes to the streets, gets sick, is killed, family regrets and is reprimanded by God.
- sleeping, exhausted due to walking, will go home, not eat and die
- baby was left by mother and grandmother - because they felt ashamed of the child when returned he's dead (dahil ikinahiya, pagbalik, patay na.) -plants also died because they were not being watered
b. child on his own
- will play to forget hunger while waiting for parents
- has to learn by himself, father is too busy to help
- neglected by family, had sex early leading to early marriage full of difficulties
c. parents will neglect children, will grow old and no one will take care of them. They will not succeed.
CHILD COMPETENT or ACHIEVING
a. overcoming problem
- remembers prostitution "but I wasn't like that" (pero hindi ako ganoon)
- wants to be a doctor "but nobody sends me to school" (pero walang nagpapa-aral). Finds help and succeeds.
- instead of killing self, overcame problem, became strong
- in the end happy was able to help family
- child confused but trying hard to think clearly and deliberately on what he should do. Succeeds.
b. becoming famous
- want to be a part of a famous band
- "wants to learn, to be a model, to be famous" (gustong matuto, tularan, maging sikat)
c. reaching dreams
- dreams take precedence over young love and later on will be happy.
Equally mentioned (6) was also their need to be guided by a nurturing adult at the same time finding help for themselves either through seeking assistance or solving problems on their own.
NEED TO BE CARED FOR
- boat should be tied or will be carried by tide, run into trouble, get rotten and destroyed
- re-plant, re-place the trees that were cut down because in times of flood they will protect the home
- looking for shelter or nurturing world - "I wish paradise is beautiful so that the birds can have a resting place, animals can have their foods to eat." (sana maganda ang paraiso para may dadapuan ang ibon, magkakaroon ng mga pagkain ang mga hayop.)
- "comrades who remove bullets from a member who got shot" (mga kasamahan ng itinatanggal ang bala sa isang partidong nabaril.)
FINDING HELP FOR THE SELF
- seeking assistance
- "Jose Rizal propitiating those who are fighting" (inaawat ang mga nang-aaway)
- do not know what to do, will ask for help
- "to be taught to be happy or try it out on myself" (magpapaturo para sumaya o susubukan sa sarili)
- desire to change - "hinahanap ang gustong makamit"
- fight for self- youth will fight for justice "paglubog ng Pilipinas"
Experiences of a child being abused and in contrast of a child sleeping were mentioned in equal frequency.
- leaves home due to father's abuse, finds good people
- scolded, beaten up, runs away, becomes a streetchild
- cleaning, got extremely tired/overfatigued (naglinis, sumobrang pagod)
- stomachache- will need to sleep and rest
- might meet accident when awake (baka madisgrasya, pag-gising, umaga na)
Other themes (2 each) were on poverty, street violence and a hope in a love relationship.
- child begging for food
- prostitute yourself to buy medicines
- victim - was stabbed (sinaksak), have sinned (may kasalanan), dead ( patay), will be buried (ililibing) killer- "will be caught by a police" (mahuhuli ng pulis), will be dead (papatayin)
- police torturing a drug addict to confess and to be able to catch companions
HOPE IN A LOVE RELATIONSHIP "PAGLALAKBAY""
- hope for love relationship - hope and love
- going abroad with two men and a woman - siblings (magkapatid)
IV. WORLD VIEW
Majority of the children had a negative worldview, even if four (4) of them viewed the world to be hopeful if there is a relationship.
THE WORLD IS ABANDONING OR NEGLECTFUL
- world is generally abusive
- children are neglected or abandoned
- the poor or neglected will not succeed
- if only people were not abandoning, their children like me would not have ruined, wayward lives
- when parents abandon you, reject you and neglect to care for you, your life become aimless, your future ruined
- world is full of pain, anger and neglect - can be tiring
THE WORLD IS HOPEFUL OR HAPPY IF THERE IS A RELATIONSHIP
- hopeful and happy if:
- one is with his parents and loving family
- there is love relationship (can be homosexual or heterosexual - girlfriend or wife [syota o asawa])
- kissing and caressing are nice, it's sad when you always quarrel (masarap ang paghahalikan at paglalambingan, malungkot pag palaging inaaway)
THERE IS SO MUCH VIOLENCE IN THIS WORLD
- there is so much violence in the world towards children, women, between man and woman
- the world is full of rapists and killers who should be punished. Women allow themselves to be raped to have money.
I BELIEVE IN MYSELF/I AM COMPETENT
- whatever happens to you, your dreams matter most and in the end, they will help you transcend previous sadness.
I AM UNABLE TO RIGHT A WRONG/ I AM DOOMED
- when we fall out of the "straight way," all is trouble, we wish we were dead, wish we could sleep and wake up and everything would be alright
Evading was the most commonly used way of coping with the pain and sadness they experience in their lives followed by dreaming then giving up. However, there were some who were able to face their problems, finding strength in themselves or seeking assistance from nurturing adults.
- sleeping, running away, reading, playing, joking
- paying attention to detail, avoiding conflict with peers
- covering-up for the wrongdoing/armoring
- helping others/family
- dreaming of better life and fame abroad/ "dreaming" ("nangangarap")
- dreaming of dreams fulfilled
- hoping for the better
- longing for caretaker
- waiting for help
- believing in future capabilities
- having hope of one day proving himself
- wanting to change or being proud of having changed
- wishing mother dead
- not feeling or numbing
- thinking;; regretting
- wondering when life of misery will end; "dying"
- giving up / wanting to die
- being sad, abandoning oneself to life on the streets, falling into a ruined life
CONFRONTING - "STRENGHTHEN ONE'S SELF" (TITIBAYAN ANG LOOB)
- striving on his own to think clearly and act deliberately and plan carefully
- correct wrongdoing
- strengthen oneself and do what needs to be done and seek what needs to be sought (titibayan ang loob at gawin ang kailangang gawin, hanapin ang kailangang hanapin)
- "will fight for one's own principle" (ipaglalaban ang paniniwala)
- "he always fights me, I fight him too" (palagi ako aaway, aaway ko rin siya)
- "by being strong" (pagiging matatag)
- seeking help from others
- asking to be "tied"
- "will look for somebody who wants to be taught" (hahanap ng magpapaturo)
VI. DREAMS & WISHES
Just as the boy's themes focused on issues on relationships, the children's most predominant dreams also centered around their wishing for a nurturing and happy relationship.
NURTURING AND HAPPY RELATIONSHIP
a. happy relationship
- romantic relationship
- loving and romantic relationship that starts off on the right foot, loving, faithful and caring partner
- couples should not quarrel (huwag mag-aaway ang mag-asawa)
- I wish my partner would be with me when I come home (sana pag-uwi ko kasama ko ang syota ko)
- marriage between homosexuals
- one big happy family
- fruitful, happy, stable family life
- family to become complete and safe
- "I wish my prayer that my parents and I would see each other would be answered." (matupad yung panalangin ko na magkita kami ng mga magulang ko).
b. nurturance, nurturing world
- someone to take care of him, loving caretaker who is not ashamed of him
- nurturing, loving, caring parents being with and being loved by parents, someone to help him fulfill his dreams not to be beaten up by parents (huwag bubugbugin ng magulang).
- family where children are cared for
- "to find someone who will really help me, someone who can trust me, someone who will love me and takes care of me." (makatagpo ng isang taong tutulong sa akin ng lubos na lubos at kaya akong pagkatiwalaan, tulong na pagmamahal, magaaruga.)
- family will regret having neglected him
c. basic ideal love
- physical manifestation of love - love and companionship through kissing, touching
- never separating from a loved one
The children also dream of a better life which meant becoming successful.
- better life
- being famous or joining a band
- going abroad
- end to one's troubles, confusions, misery
- escape from it or have just a little happiness
- able to help a family
- finish school
- to reach ambition
The occupations they wanted to be in were mostly on jobs that will enable them to help others.
WORKING - "MAGHANAPBUHAY" and "MARANGAL NA TRABAHO"
- staff of a center for streetchildren
- "service like the way I was molded at Bahay Tuluyan" (paglingkod gaya ng paghubog sa akin ng Bahay Tuluyan)
- to become helpful to other people (maging matulungin sa kapwa)
- singer, dancer, waiter
- soldier, electric engineer
Some of the boys expressed a need to find necessary guidance to enable to change.
- way to be "tied" so that his life will not be ruined
- "I wish I would not have to go out." (sana hindi na ako lumabas-labas)
- to change (magbago)
- "leaves have abound, flowers become abundant" (lumago ang dahon, dumami ang bulaklak)
- proving oneself in the end
Five (5) dream of satisfying their basic needs.
BASIC NEEDS ARE MET
- daily meals - "hope to eat everyday here" (sana ay makakain araw-araw dito)
- become healthy - "I will take a bath so that I might not get lice." (maliligo ako para hindi ako magkakuto)
- "to go back home to Baguio." (makauwi na sa bahay sa Baguio)
Others mentioned were on:
- seeing all rapists and killers jailed and executed
- asking forgiveness from Jesus
FACILITATING FACTORS IN ACHIEVING THEIR DREAMS:
Focusing on the inner strength that they possess and finding a loving and nurturing adult can serve as the avenue to achieving their dreams.
- inner strength: "I'm strong, I fight all my problems." ("matatag ako, nilalabanan ko ang lahat ng problema ko. Ang hinahanap ko sa palagay ko, matutupad na iyon.")
- being helped or being taken cared of
- "go home and pray" (umuwi muna ako at lagi akong nagdadasal)
- "I can foresee." ("nakikinita-kinita ko na")
The obstacle that they foresee in achieving their dreams is more on an awareness of a negative attitude or behavior that will stand in the way of what they want to happen in their lives.
- my family: problem with my parents, father has no job, hindrance (sagabal)
- "If I didn't go to school." ("kung hindi ako mag-aaral")
- poverty: "I am only poor." ("ako'y mahirap lang")
- passivity ("di ko kaya" and "di ko naiisip")
badness ( "manloloko ako," "masama ako" and "masungit ako"
Majority of the boys' significant persons were adults. Peers were only mentioned four (4) times
- adults (mother, social worker, God, father, grandfather, grandmother, psychologist, employer, countrymen, relative, Cory Aquino)
- peers (friends, "adolescent" - a stranger who helped him once on the street.
The reasons mentioned by the boys on why the above-mentioned persons were significant to them were:
THEY WERE NURTURING ("tumulong at nag-alaga")
- "helping out" (tumulong) (provided the basic needs)
- "I was adopted" (kinupkop ako)
- "my character was improved, I got to school, my needs were met (na-improve ang pagkatao, nakapag-aral, natugunan ang pangangailangan)
THEY WERE GOD-FEARING/RELIGIOUS
- "fear of God" (takot sa Diyos)
- "God-fearing" (maka-Diyos)
BECAUSE OF NEGATIVE BEHAVIORS
- his maltreatment and oppression (pagmamaltrato at pagmamalupit niya)
- womanizer, if only I were big, I would fight him. (babaero, kung malaki lang ako, lalabanan ko siya)
- was able to listen to my life story
- asked to draw and being talked to (pinapa-drawing at kinakausap)
PERCEPTION TOWARDS SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIPS
As consistent with the themes earlier mentioned on the boys' perception of their mother, majority of the children perceive their mothers in a negative light. "Ang nanay ko ay madalas... (My mother frequently...)
- sugarol (gambler)
- magalit (angry)
- nanggugulpi (beat me up)
- mag-away (fights)
Three (3) children mentioned that their mothers are caring and nurturing:
- reminds and thinks of our condition (nagpapa-alala at iniisip ang kalagayan namin)
- takes care of our family (nag-aalaga sa aming pamilya)
Five (5) of the children also saw their mothers as the cause of their problems. Dahil sa kaniya... (Because of her...)
- I am bad. (akoy's masama)
- I want to take revenge (gusto kong maghiganti)
- my family and I were separated (magkahiwalay kami ng aking pamilya)
- I left. (ako'y umalis)
Ang aking ama ay madalas ...(My father always...)
- drinks (umiinom)
- fights with other people, beats us up (nakikipag-away, nambubugbog) - working (magtrabaho) - loving and nurturing
- can't find (di ko makita)
- relies on us only (umaasa lang sa amin)
- brings me into the world (nalagay ako sa mundo)
Dahil sa aking ama... (Because of my father...)
- cause of problem and misery in life
- our life became turbulent/messy (nagka-leche-leche ang buhay ko/namin)
- our condition became like this, not good, had problems (naging ganito ang kalagayan namin, hindi maganda, nagkaroon ng problema)
- I'm saddened (nalulungkot ako)
If only my family were...(Kung ang pamilya ko lang sana ay...)
- happy, whole, they're with me we'll be happy (masaya, buo, kasama ko ngayon sana masaya)
- nice to get along with (magandang pakisamahan)
- nice, no qualms, working (maganda, maayos, walang away, nagtatrabaho)
- kind (mabait)
My family is... (Ang aking pamilya ay...)
- quiet, good, respectful, good, caring (tahimik, mabuti, magalang, mabait, maalaga)
- just okay, I am happy, we're complete, happy (ok lang masaya ako, kumpleto kami, masaya)
- ill-tempered (masungit)
- separated (nagkahiwalay)
During the clinical interview, the boys were also asked what they liked in their girlfriends or what qualities they look for in an ideal girlfriend.
Majority of the children prefer a girlfriend who is good (mabait).
- even if ugly, kind to my sibling (kahit pangit, mabait sa kapatid ko)
- good-natured, not daring or braggart (maganda ang ugali, hindi matapang o mayabang)
- I don't like snobbish and harsh girlfriend. (ayoko ng suplada at hindi masungit)
Ten (10) of the children also would like a girlfriend who is loving (mapagmahal).
- know how to love, understanding, caring (marunong magmahal, maunawain, mapag-alaga)
- always thinks of me, when I'm not around she always look for me (pag wala ako lagi akong hinahanap, kung kailangan ko siya, matutulungan niya ako)
- I like the one who can give advice and can help me understand (yung may magpapayo sa akin, mapa-intindi)
Five (5) of the boys also would like a girlfriend who is competent.
- not so bright but one who know something, dances well (hindi naman talaga yung matalino, yung medyo may alam , magaling sumayaw)
- finished schooling (tapos ng pag-aaral)
- has work, even if not stable as long as I have work (may trabaho, kahit di maganda basta may trabaho)
Four (4) mentioned about their wanting a girlfriend who is beautiful (maganda) at enough body size (katamtaman ang taba).
Three (3) would also like a girlfriend who is faithful (tapat).
- I don't like one who deceives and I also don't like to deceive her. (ayoko yung naloloko ako, ayoko rin yung naloloko ko)
- not a flirt (di malandi)
In a sentence completion test, one of the open-ended sentences was on their perception of a girlfriend ( Ang mga girlfriend ay...) Girlfriends are.... Majority of them have a positive perception towards a girlfriend:
- kind, good (mabait, mabuti)
- regarded as inspiration to the adolescent boys (tinuturing na inspirasyon sa mga binata)
- an inspiration to me (isang inspirasyon sa akin)
- thoughtful (maalalahanin), good lover (masarap maging kalaguyo), happy (masaya)
- pretty (maganda), ok naman
In the sentence completion test, the sentence "Kung ako ay mag-aasawa..." (If I will get married...), their answers were as follows:
- kind (mabait)
- I will change (magbabago ako)
PEOPLE IN GENERAL
I love a person if... (Mahal ko ang isang tao kapag...)
- she love me too (mahal niya rin ako)
- knows how to get along with people (may pakisama, nararamdaman ko)
- she can love me (minamahal at kaya din niya akong mahalin)
- understands my situation (naiintindihan ang kalagayan ko, nauunawaan niya ako)
- kind to me (mabait siya sa akin)
- teaches good things (maganda ang itinuturo)
A close friend is perceived to be:
- kind (mabait)
- generous (mapagbigay)
Being with barkada makes the boys feel:
However, the boys dislikes peers who are:
- bakla, sucks (nanunupa)
- have vices - "solvent boys, mandurukot, magnanakaw"
- not trustworthy
- cannot get along with others (di marunong makisama)
PERCEPTION TOWARDS THE OPPOSITE SEX IN GENERAL
Ang mga babae ay:
- loving (mapagmahal)
- beautiful (maganda)
- kind (mababait, maunawain, mabuti)
- others: with a woman's heart, doesn't need to be a man (may pusong babae, di kailangang maging lalaki)
- crook (manloloko)
- irate (masungit)
- sensitive (matampuhin)
- being raped (ginagahasa)
- for men (para sa lalaki)
- came from the man's rib (galing sa tadyang ng lalaki)
- can be courted (puwedeng ligawan)
- ways and temperaments are not the same (hindi pare-pareho ang ugali)
PERCEPTION TOWARDS THE SAME SEX
Ang mga lalaki ay:
- handsome (pogi, macho, guwapo)
- loving (mapagmahal), will not at all deceive his wife (di lolokohin ang asawa)
- always with me (kasama ko)
- befriend (kaibiganin)
- pa-cute, ayos naman
- ambitious (ambisyoso)
- horny, sexually-active (malibog, mahilig sa sex)
- homosexual, sucks (bakla, nanunupa )
- like me (katulad ko), call-boy
- womanizer (babaero)
- will defeat (tatalo, magkalaban)
- ill-mannered, foolish, shameless, badjao (bastos, walang modo, tarantado, walanghiya, badjao)
- they have different ways and manners (hindi pare-pareho ang ugali)
ANG MGA LALAKI AY DAPAT:
- to be good (maging mabuti, masunurin, matuto ng mabuting bagay, di magloloko/magtataksil sa asawa nila, hindi padalos-dalos)
- be competent (mag-trabaho, mag-aral, di tumatambay, sa halip maghanap ng trabaho)
- others: to imitate those who have decent clothing, happy, loved, they have not the same ways (tularan ang mga disenteng suot, masaya, mahalin, hindi pare-pareho ang lalaki) VIII. GOD God is also perceived as the ultimate parent, the caring and structuring parent that they never had.
helping, nurturing tumutulong
- one person who helps, (isang tao na tumutulong), guides (gumagabay), saves all the people in earth (lumiligtas sa lahat ng tao dito sa mundo)," he answers all lamentations (lahat ng hinaing tinutugunan niya)
- pray, wait, will be granted (manalangin, maghintay, matutupad, kusang darating ang hinihintay)
structuring father (ama)
- I always asked forgiveness for the foolish things I did (laging humihingi ng tawad sa kaniya dahil sa ginawa kong katarantaduhan), I always pray (palagi kong dinadasalan)
creator (pinagmulan ko)
- "creator" (tagalikha)
- the Highest "kataas-taasan," He is perfect (perpekto siya)
- "son of God, (anak ng Diyos)," "friend (kaibigan)"
- repulsive (negative)
- feel indecent, loathes (nalalaswaan, nandidiri) begging is more acceptable
- I am so much scared, shocked, out of necessity (takot na takot, nagulat, dala ng pangangailangan)
- mad, I left him, apprehensive, he might have disease (nagagalit, nilayuan ko siya. Kabado baka maysakit.)
- I thought of a homosexual who sells children (parang bakla yung isip ko, nagbebenta ng bata)
- like a woman embraced, sometimes, he's like a half-homosexual-half-man (parang babaeng niyayapos, kung minsan siya ay may kalahating lalaki, may kalahating bakla). He's thinking of running away (Iniisip niyang tumakas, tumakbo). He said he doesn't want to be sucked - it hurts. (Sabi niya ayaw niyang pa-tsupa- masakit.) (3rd person speaking)
- will feel weak, you'll get thinner, your penis will become bigger (manghihina, papayat, lalaki daw ang titi mo)
- pedophile- pleasurable (masarap)
- pleasurable (masarap) sexual feeling, but it's difficult (na mahirap) man-to-man, you'll get fed up (lalaki sa lalaki, nasusuya ka)
- they seem to be maniacs (may pagka-maniac sila) (2 homosexuals who picked him up, but refused to discuss it, mumbles, does not answer, shakes head)
- It's okay, I was given, happy, seems like playing, enjoy (Ok lang, binigyan naman ng pera, tuwang-tuwa parang laro lang.) - Enjoy lang, I didn't do it again (hindi ko ulit ginawa iyon), really, sometimes, I really need the money (siyempre minsan, kailangang kailangan ng pera.)
- necessity of money
- "Ganoon din, nice though difficult" (masarap na mahirap), it's a necessity (kaya lang kailangan ng pera dahil gipit sa pera.)
- Lost fear, I thought I was already addicted to this, I cannot avoid it anymore, longing for sex and money (Nawala na yung takot, umandar sa isip ko, addict na ako sa ganitong paraan, di na maiiwasan, hinahanap yung sarap ng sex at yung pera)
- Like a cycle, it comes back and then fades again. (Parang paikot-ikot lang, bumabalik tapos mawawala na naman.)
- Later on, there is none, you just let it go as is (Pag tagal-tagal, bale wala, pabayaan na lang.)
- "With American, I'm also happy, it feels like he loved me (masaya rin ako, para bang minamahal ka niya)."
- I am repulsed.
- I abhor the idea, boy to boy is not normal, it's like pigs, it should be boy to girl. (Parang nandidiri na rin ako, kasi hindi normal yung lalaki sa lalaki, parang baboy kung titingnan, dapat lalaki sa babae.)
- I remember my parents every minute (Minu-minuto naaalala ko ang magulang ko.)
- If you're used to it, you might become homosexual (Kapag nakasanayan mo na, baka magaya ka pa sa kanilang maging bakla.)
Pag nakikipagtalik (while having sex)
- the need for money
- Happy, you have to make it good so that you'll be given much money (Masaya kailangan pagbutihin para malaki ang ibibigay na pera.)
- It's money I immediately think of. (Iniisip ko kasi agad yung patak ng pera.)
- Matron, bearable, old, good pay. (Matrona, kaya-kayang tiisin, matanda, malaki magbayad.)
- fear of AIDS
- Homosexual, indecent, afraid of being killed if you leave them. (bakla, nalalaswaan, takot baka patayin ka pag iniwan mo sila.)
- American, I'll trick him, (Amerikano, gusto kong manloko sa kaniya), I will confuse him. (lilituhin ko siya.)
- like a woman (parang babae rin)
- I bear in mind its woman I'm fucking, I ejaculate only once. (Iniisip ko babae yung inaano ko, isang putok lang ako.)
- It's also good to be used, the person you're kissing is also like a woman. (Parang masarap ding magpagamit, hinahalikan mo parang babae rin.)
- I can feel that the homosexual is shameless, like a pig. If it's the homosexual, its just simple, its all right, I think she is my girlfriend, I, parang baboy. Pag yung bakla simple lang, ayos lang, iniisip ko syota
ko, sabi ko pagdating ko dito baka lagot ako.)
- I no longer do it, not good you loose your honour. (Di na ginagawa, ang pangit, mawawala yung dangal mo.)
- Not nice, you feel weak. (Hindi maganda, nanghihina ka.)
- It hurts me. (Masakit sa kalooban ko kasi naalala ang sinabi ng nanay mamatay ka sa AIDS'.)
It's different, looks bad, should not be done, because if you do it, it affects you, like shabu, when you use it, you become addicted and you yearn for it. (Iba pala, parang masama, hindi dapat, kasi pag ginawa mo pala iyon, madadala mo sa buhay mo, parang shabu, pag gumamit ka, hahanap- hanapin mo.)
- There are a lot of good job opportunities, not only by becoming a call boy. Like your body that you have to pawn, payment is dependent on your body (Maraming magandang pamumuhay hindi lang pagiging call boy. Parang katawan mo, isasanla mo. Katawan mo ay nakataya bago ka babayaran.)
- It is placed second on the lists of wrongdoings, it's like you're selling your soul (Pumapangalawa na sa masamang gawain iyon, parang binebenta mo na rin kaluluwa mo.)
- That's okay, if you need it and you don't have money, it's bad when you are rich and still engage in it. (Ok lang iyon pag kailangan mo at wala kang pera, masama pag mayaman ka at nagpapagalaw.)
- Nothing, as if you have forgotten until you're fed up with it. (Wala, parang nakalimutan hanggang nasawa na.)
Pag naaalala (Looking back)
- you forget and don't want to do it again (kinakalimutan, ayaw nang balikan)
- homosexuals are dreadful, they might have diseases (Nakakatakot ang paggalaw ng bakla, baka maysakit.)
- I didn't think of that because women are due for men (Di naiisip dahil may mga babae naman para sa mga lalaki.)
- confused, ashamed, weak (nalilito, nahihiya, nanghihina)
- I suddenly got up, lost my cool, asked for water. I was asked to drink for water and take medicine to get rid of the nightmare. (Napabangon ako bigla, nagwawala ako, humihingi ako ng tubig. Pinapainom ng tubig at gamot para maalis ang pangarap. Naisip ang sinabi ng nanay sa kalooban mamamatay sa AIDS.)
- Can not do it again, already eating daily, no longer need money. (Di na puwedeng gawin, kumakain na sa araw-araw, di na kailangan ang pera.)
B. LIKE/DISLIKE ABOUT PROSTITUTION
- a little help (tulong ng kaunti)
- to earn money, to have clothes, food (kumita ng pera, pagkakaroon ng damit, pagkain, namamasyal)
- physical pleasure (nasasarapan)
- to have someone with me (may makasama)
- to get sick (magkasakit)
- if the costumer looks sick (pag mukhang maysakit ang kostumer)
- effect on inner self ("Lalaki sa lalaki hindi normal iyon, hindi tama" )
- during the sex act ("penetration, pinipilit ka talaga" and "pakikipag lips to lips nang matagal")
C. COSTUMER/GIRLFRIEND'S PERCEPTION OF PROSTITUTION
- negative perception (bad, rude, deceptive, taking advantage)
- they're just enticing so that they can suck someone (masama, nangaakit lang sila para maka-tsupa)
- rude, selfish, abusive, swindler (bastos, suwapang, mapagsamantala, manloloko)
- description (foreigner, bakla, matrona)
Girlfriend Vs. Costumer
- not created by God, they just thought they were (hindi nilikha ng Diyos, iniisip lang nila iyon)
- I'm not happy with homosexual (hindi ako masaya sa bakla)
- in homosexual relationship, man-to-man, not normal (sa bakla, lalaki sa lalaki, hindi normal)
- that's nothing, not respectable (wala yun, di kagalang-galang)
- homosexual is better than a woman (mas mahusay ang bakla kesa sa babae)
- both men (parehas lalaki)
- I love (mahal ko)
- can be loved forever, the feelings are there, not to be sold, it's better to love the woman (puwedeng mahalin habang buhay, yung damdamin nasa kaniya, di nababayaran, mas masarap mahalin yung babae)
- woman, not homosexual, woman, I am the more active (babae, hindi bakla, babae ako ang gumagawa)
D. EFFECT OF PROSTITUTION/ATTITUDE TOWARDS SEX
- will feel weak, your penis will get bigger, and you'll get thinner. (nanghihina, lalaki ang titi mo, papayat)
- earned money but there's a problem, you lose your strength, you acquire incurable diseases. (nagkapera pero may problema, ubos ang lakas mo, nagkaroon ng sakit na walang lunas, disgrasya)
- people will despise you if found out (pagdidirihan pag nabulgar)
- people will abhor you although you're no longer doing it, if found out, you lose people's trust (pagdidirihan kahit di ko na inulit iyon, pag nabulgar, masisira yung paningin ng tao sa iyo)
- indecent job has to be kept secret (trabahong masama, naisi-sikreto)
- no effect, but apparently, there is (walang epekto pero yun pala meron, hindi na naging malikot ang kamay ko kasi may trabaho di na kailangang magnakaw, trabahong masama pero nai-sikreto)
Attitude towards sex
Ang sex ay:
- bad (masama)
- kissing , does no good (naghahalikan, walang maidudulot)
- rampant in the world, can cause AIDS (laganap sa buong mundo, maaring magdulot ng AIDS)
- "should be only for adults only"
- needed by the people (kailangan ng tao)
- I don't know (di ko alam)
Kapag pinag-uusapan (When talking about sex):
- evades the issue
- I'm not yet there so I won't think about it yet, I'm not involved in that, I don't want to do it. (wala ako roon di ko pa iisipin muna, labas na ako diyan, ayaw kong gawin")
- Okay, I will be comfortable. (ayos, ako ay magiginhawa)
- should be done by two people in love (dapat mangyari lang sa dalawang taong nagmamahalan)
- not bad, if kissed only one, if doesn't like and is forcing, that's rude (hindi masama kung isa lang ang hinahalikan. Pag-ayaw at hinahawakan, bastos iyon)
- I'm too young and I don't want to get married (bata pa ako ayoko pang mag-asawa
Kapag naiisip ko na gusto kong makipagtalik (When I think that I'd like to have sex..):
- I avoided (iniiwasan ko)
- reading a book, sleeping (nagbabasa ng libro, natutulog)
- I take a bath, it's only body heat (nililigo ako, init lang ng katawan iyan)
- I masturbate (mina-masturbate ko na lang)
- I don't know (di ko alam)
- bad, you'll get weak (masama, manghihina ka)
- being done with my girlfriend (ginagawa sa syota ko)
- because I'm jealous (dahil ako ay naiinggit) X. PRAYERS Half of them prayed for inner strength followed by a request for a shower of blessings in their lives.
For competence and strength
- new life (bagong buhay), right thinking (tamang kaisipan), to go the right path (mapunta sa mabuti)
- to give strength in times of trial (magbigay ng lakas sa mga pagsubok, magawa yung kailangang gawin)
- be given strength to change (bigyan ng lakas para magbago)
asking for grace
- to have abundant life, job, and can eat everyday (magkaroon ng masaganang buhay, trabaho, makakain araw-araw)
- to be good in my study so that I can get married soon (mabuti ang pag-aaral ko para madali akong makapag-asawa)
family to be in good condition
- good condition of the family (mabuting kalagayan ng pamilya), will care and guard my parents (aasikasuhin at bantayan ang magulang ko), hope my mother is happy (sana masaya ang nanay ko)
asking for forgiveness
- asking for forgiveness (humihingi ng tawad)
- opens all pain, anger (binubuksan lahat ng sakit, galit) It's like I'm always asking for forgiveness (Parang lagi akong humihingi sa kaniya ng tawad.)
- when I have eaten meals regularly (kapag may kinakain ako sa araw-araw)
- for protection - wish I will always be guided, may He not forsake me, may I not have a bad dream (sana lagi akong babantayan, huwag sana akong pabayaan, huwag managinip ng masama)
- for parents to change
- to be reunited with mother
- to have friends
TABLE 3: GIRLS
GIRLS I. SELF-CONCEPT In exploring this aspect of the girls inner world, the researchers often encountered contradictory responses, such as some of the children were saying "sad (malungkot)" while the others said they were "happy (masaya)."
Even worse, these contradictory statements were given by the same child in different parts of the interview. As a result, at first, it seemed impossible to report on any "trends." It became obvious, after a while, however, that an almost every aspect of their inner lives, the girls exhibited these "contradictions" called "splits." It also became obvious that one part of the split was often (though not always) a representative of "reality" or the "deeper truth," while the other part often represented denial or "wishful thinking."
A. WHAT I THINK OF MYSELF
THE "CONSCIOUS" VIEW
1. mabait (good)- This is the most predominant "conscious" response e.g., mapagbigay, naglilibre, namimigay ng gamit, passive, helpful.
2. a "bad" girl- On the other hand, they also saw themselves as errant, rebellious and quarrelsome as in, stealing, doing "bad" things, fighting
3. gustong magbago (wanted to change)- Consistent with a "bad girl" image, was the image of a penitent, repentant child who has done wrong but wanted to change.
THE UNCONSCIOUS VIEW
The projective stories revealed a deeper, perhaps "darker" self-concept.
1. "Nababoy", "Nasira" (Defiled, Disgraced or Degraded, Destroyed)
Irrevocable damage, often with understandability was most predominant among the girls. This response was at the core of their self-concept and did not have a "split." Feelings of damage ranged from abuse/injury to complete defilement and rejection:
- abused, injured, in pain, being injected, if we refuse we suffer but they give us money, it's a very painful feeling (napaglalaruan, tinuturukan, tinutusok, pag ayaw namin nahihirapan kami pero binibigyan kami ng pera, masakit na masakit ang nararamdaman).
- damaged, broken, destroyed (nasira na, wala na di-na puwedeng ibalik).
- disgraced, defiled, marred, mutilated (nababoy ang katawan, pinandidirihan, nagkakaroon na ng karanasan, magulo ang buhay).
- then discarded (pinagsawaan, tinapon, iniwan, niloko, hindi pinaninindigan).
Some related responses:
- is a prostitute, looking for a customer (nangongostomer, nag-didiskarte)
- namumuhi sa sarili (loathes the self)
- highly sexed (nabibitin ako pag nalilibugan)
2. "Malungkot" (Sad)
The next predominant image was of being sad, mostly as a result of being abandoned by parents, separated from loved ones and alone, e.g., "walang nanay at tatay, walang dumadamay, pinamigay ng nanay, pinabayaan ng magulang."
Consistent with this was the image of a person wishing to be happy (3), e.g., want to be happy always, with a companion wants to have a friend (gustong laging masaya, laging may kasama, gustong magkaroon ng kaibigan); or a wish for ideal, loving, nurturing parents (1).
3. "May Kakayahan" (Has competencies and potentials)
- A child with a great potential who still needs help in order to get a good future, boat which when not used will rot, will become fragile, stocked in one corner (bangka na kapag hindi ginamit, mabubulok at magiging marupok, naka-istak lang sa isang tabi)
- With talent ("may talento," "magaling sa science")
- having some educational attainment (nakatuntong ako sa 2nd year high school, marunong na akong magbasa, nag-aaral na)
- learned a helping skill (natutong maglingkod sa tao)
4. "Hindi alam ang gagawin" (Doesn't know what to do)
The girls felt guilty about their being:
- magnanakaw ( they steal) - nangunguha ng gamit, natutong magnakaw, nangunguha ng gamit ng ibang tao o pera ng staff)
- nagda-drugs (taking drugs)
- nakikipag-away (bullying/fighting)
- naglalayas, nagka-cutting class (running away, playing truant
- nangongostumer (prostituting)
- nagmumura (cursing)
- tinangkang magpakamatay (attempted suicide)
- Nung hindi po ako nakakapagbago (when I hadn't changed)
On the other hand, very much related to the self-concept of "nabababoy" was what the girls said they were ashamed of:
1. dahil sa diskarte (because of prostitution)
- lost uterus because of what she did and could not have a child anymore (dahil sa ginawa, nawala ang matris at hindi na magka-anak)
- fooling myself (napapaglaruan ang sarili ko)
- my past were really shameful (mga nakaraan kong nagawang kasalanan, nakakahiya talaga)
- I'm ugly, I'm a prostitute (ako ay pangit, isang babaeng mababa ang lipad)
- what happened to me, pick-up, I don't have anything to be proud of if I get married (nangyari sa akin-diskarte, walang ipagmamalaking "virgin" lalo na kung mag-aasawa)
- I don't want to be heard the whole story (ayokong sabihin ang buong pangyayari sa akin)
- Spoken for bad things in front of many people (pinag-sasalitaan ng di-maganda sa harap ng ibang tao)
2. I'm really shy (mahiyain ako talaga)
3. other single responses:
- steals other people's money (nangunguha ng pera ng ibang tao)
- because he looks decent while I'm donned in shorts only (dahil disente siya at naka-shorts lang ako)
The above responses point to a significant distinction; the girls saw their prostitution experiences not so much something to feel guilty about, but, overwhelmingly, something to feel ashamed about. This relates highly to their core self-concept of being marred, disgraced and defiled.
WHAT OTHERS THINK OF ME
What they like about me
In response to the sentence stem, "Gusto ko ng ibang tao dahil...") the quality mentioned by the majority of the girls were:
1. mabait sa ibang tao (good to other people)
2. being exploited as a girl 1.e. "gusto nila akong ibenta, and "may nakakuha na sa akin,"
3. as mentioned by each girl:
- because of make-up (dahil sa make-up)
- stubborn (matigas ang ulo)
- loving (mapagmahal)
- strong (matatag)
- helpful (matulungin)
What they don't like about me:
The overwhelmingly predominant response to the opposite sentence stem, "hindi ako gusto ng ibang tao dahil...", however, is its complete contradiction:
1. bad (masama)
2. being a prostitute
Completing this phrase, "Naiiba ako sa ibang babae dahil..." and "Hindi ako katulad ng isang babae na...", the girls said:
1. "...I'm not hostess (hindi ako hostess)."
Half of the girls made a complete denial of any involvement in prostitution or in active seeking of sex.
2. "...I'm not innocent (hindi na inosente)."
Three girls express again the deeper feeling of somehow being "tarnished."
3. "... I have ambition (may ambisyon)."
A response which may be real for some and a "wish" for others: being a person who has high hopes, lofty dreams, and a hopeful future.
The girls most admired or wanted to be like, were someone who was:
- mabait ("good")
- competent, successful
- has done something good (may ginawang mabuti)
- loving (mapagmahal)
- others: reporter, demure, sensitive, respects, faithful, well-off, recruits customers (reporter, mahinhin at marunong mahiya at rumispeto, tapat, may kaya sa buhay, nangongostumer.)
What are the girls' deepest feelings? Data for this category, came mainly from the Projective Stories and thus, give us a powerful and truly intimate picture of what is going on in their innermost world.
The girls felt:
1. sadness, pain and despair
- dahil alone
- neglected by or without parents
- physical/emotional: abandoned by boyfriend, got tired of her, was used, as if the world crumbled (nakunan, hiniwalayan ng boyfriend, pinag-sawaan, ginamit, parang gumuho ang mundo, iniwanan ng lalaki, masakit sa puso dahil na-mi-miss ang minamahal, nawawalan na ng pag-asa)
2. masaya (happy)
In contrast to the overwhelming sadness and despair are several stories of the happiness they dream of or wish for, most especially:
- being in a happy and romantic relationship
- being loved and nurtured in a harmonious family or finding new nurturance/ peaceful life elsewhere
3. damaged, injured
- nababoy ang katawan, nasira ang buhay, pinandidirihan ng tao dahil sa pangongostumer
- decays, no more effect (nabubulok, wala ng bisa, iniwanan)
- mutilated, murdered, stabbed, poked a hole into the intestines, there was profuse bleeding, too much blood (sinaksak, kinalikot ang bituka, tumapon ng tumapon yung dugo, ang dami-daming dugo)
- doesn't know what to do (hindi alam ang gagawin, hindi makasagot, lumagpak)
- of causing miscarriage
- of contributing to sexual act or abuse
- scared of being jailed
- repentant and resolving to change
- in a love relationship
- regret (ayaw maalala ang nakaraan, wala sa sarili)
- nasasarapan (feels pressure sa pera at sa sex, sa halikan ng mag-syota)
8. tired (pagod na pagod)
III. THEMES The girls' most prevailing concerns/ preoccupations were:
Sexual Relationships (26)
Rape and Sexual Exploitation (17)
- being raped and killed, mutilated, or left pregnant;
woman will not think its abuse, instead will pretend
they had sex to have children; to right the abuse, lalaki gagawing tunay na asawa ang babae; "Marry me so as not to destroy my life." (Pakasalan mo ako para hindi masira ang buhay ko.)
- woman gives self to man, gets pregnant, man refuses to take responsibility; girl kills self, or else world crumbles; woman exploited then abandoned; man will pretend to love you, use your body, make you pregnant, then desert you.
Happy, loving sex (9)
- naglalandian, naghahalikan sa sobrang pagmamahal; ideal relationship, walang away
- being together always.
Sad Life of a Streetchild (17)
a) being alone, sad, crying, thinking; pag nasanayan, saka ka masaya; dying due to loneliness; no one helps, no one cares, "walang Panginoon"
b) being separated from loved ones, e.g. from parents, from a mate, from a barkada c)being in constant danger, robbed of solvent and money (inagawan ng solvent, kinuhanan ng pera, sinaksak, tinapon sa isang tabi) d)being hungry, desperate, could no longer endure (hindi na niya makaya talaga, walang nag-mamahal, no one helps, child dies)
Family Life (17)
Disharmony and Abuse, Mother's Neglect and Abandonment of Child (8)
- disharmony: parents fighting, mother gambling,
father womanizing, child rebelling, selfish sibling
- physical abuse from parents - di pinapansin ng Nanay, abandoned, scolded by mother
Happy Family Life Fantasy, Affection from Mother (9)
- couple love each other, children loved and cared for
- affection, mother promises never to take daughter for granted again
-mother prostitutes herself for children.
- gustong magka-pera pero gusto ring makapiling ang magulang
- child supports family but through prostitution
Making or Breaking One's Future (16)
Wala sa Sarili, then Guilt and Regret (8)
- having sex
- barkada, drugs, crime, bisyo
- fear of being jailed
Ambitions/ Achievement (8)
- will study to achieve dreams
- wants to feel competent
- has potential, but will rot if not used; child is hope of the country.
Needing Nurturance, Peace, Help and Guidance (15)
- need for a quiet place
- need for shelter, caring, rescue
- need guidance , does not know what to do, can reach dreams and recover if helped
- refusing help that is offered , or unable to verbally ask for help
Couples Fighting (5)
- due to jealousy, over having sex or not, woman having a strong sexual desire (babae nalilibugan, lalake ayaw);
- fighting resolved by woman appeasing man.
Couples in Ideal Relationship (7)
- planning to get married
- dreaming of ideal future
- man will work to take care
- living happily ever after
- need to fix something broken
- fails in school
- paperboat sinks because it is too soft
- irrecoverable (di na puwedeng ibalik)
- cannot solve problems IV. WORLD VIEW How do the girls see the world, and themselves in relation to it? What "unspoken rules" about life have they learned to internalize from their experiences? What we have found are some major world views, presented here in decreasing frequency. Most of them also have "split" views, possibly representing a wish for something better, or may also be reflective of a brighter, more hopeful outlook resulting from rehabilitation experiences.
Sometimes, in the same girl's stories, both "reality" and the "hope/wish" come together.
The world is a lonely, uncaring, neglecting, abandoning, rejecting place. (8 girls)
a) We are always being separated from our loved ones, wondering when we will see them again.
b) We are abandoned and neglected, no one to help or take care of us; chances of being helped are rare, so we go through the world alone.
c) If you are deformed, maharot, dirty, the world rejects you.
d) Many times we end up dead, ruined.
...BUT there is hope, in a romantic relationship, or in some people who will rescue me. (3 of the 8 girls)
Men are selfish, only after your body: they will use you, exploit you, deceive you, desert you. (3 girls)
...BUT the exploitation would be more acceptable if only, in the end, there is a loving relationship or, at least, marriage. (2 of the 3 girls)
Love relationships make you jealous and violent, BUT they are also happy. (2 girls)
There is hope because there are people who will help and love me. (2 girls)
Reflective of the girls' attitude that "I am responsible for all the things that happen to me" are two world views on the self:
One should be exceptionally good to be worthy. (1 girl)
Streetchildren have lost their future in drugs, crime and barkada-- They have lost their sanity. (Wala na silang pag-iisip, nakalimot sa sarili, sa Diyos, at sa kinabukasan.) (1 girl)
How do the girls deal with their difficulties, and their lives in general? From their projective stories, the girls showed the following characteristic ways of reacting to the world:
- Dreaming of a bright and happy future, of being competent, accomplished and rich, of being in a happy romantic relationship;
- Numbing one's emotions by becoming not like her former self (wala sa sarili) i.e. unaware of one's actions, by playing "dead", by sleeping, by getting used to things, forgetting the past, and by deliberately trying to stop "sad thoughts";
- Fantasizing about a quiet, beautiful place, and a harmonious, caring family;
- Distracting oneself by studying one's lessons, praying, singing, recreation;
- Running away --- from home, from the center, from abuse.
Becoming Very Sad, Desperate, or Violent (8)
- Crying, being sad, sulking ("nagmumukmok"), dying, refusing help, blaming oneself ("kasalanan ko ang lahat"), feeling helpless, ruminating;
- Also by loosing one's cool/ getting violent, and pag-rebelde.
Seeking Assistance (5)
- pleading for help, looking for other sources of nurturance.
Trying to Actively, Constructively Solve Problems on One's Own (3)
- Resolving differences constructively.
- Resolving to change self. - Trying and trying, then giving up.
- justifying/ rationalizing the sex act
- revenge for abuse: man will get AIDS
- refusing to love again
VI. DREAMS & WISHES The data here was lifted both from the girls' Projective Stories, and from their own responses to direct questioning about their wishes in life.
The girls' deepest wishes were:
Magbagong-Buhay, Iwasan ang Masamang Gawain (To Change for the Better and Stop Wrongdoing) (10)
- lessen one's sin (bawasan ang kasalanan), palitan ng kabaitan, avoid vices and wrongdoings (iwasan ang bisyo at masamang gawain), iwasan sumama sa kostomer, mag-aaral;
Magbago ang Magulang Ko (For my Parents to Change) (8)
- father will change his ways; parents will become nurturing, loving;
To Have a Fantasy, Ideal Life (6)
- ipanganak muli sa bago at maayos na pamilya, maalagaan ang sarili ko, being accepted despite defect;
- studying so one can go abroad, become "English-speaking" and "mayaman"; have corrective braces for my teeth; maging malakas ang katawan ko.
To have a Real, Loving, Relationship (6)
- which is not punitive; which is good, and will help me transcend sexual abuse; where I am taken cared of and have a future with my loved one; where the man is faithful and caring; makapag-asawa ng mayaman para maging sosyal.
To Become Competent, Successful (4)
Be productive member of society, matupad ang pangarap, maging matagumpay.
- Makita uli ang Magulang ko (To See my Parents Again) (4)
- makita uli ang Nanay/ Tatay/ magulang ko; magsama-sama uli kaming lahat.
To belong to an Ideal Family which is complete, united, harmonious, happy (3)
- To have a companion (2)
- hinahanap kung nasaan yung maraming tao; para may kasama.
- Tanggapin ako ng magulang ng boyfriend ko (That my boyfriend's parents will accept me)
- Magkaroon ng magandang kinabukasan ang anak ko (That my child will have a good future)
- Happy times with barkada.
The children were also asked what their ambitions are, or what they would like to be "in the future", and their predominant responses were:
To finish schooling (7 girls)
To be in a helping profession e.g. to be social workers, nurses, or in some way be able to help others (makatulong sa kapwa). (7 girls)
Other single responses:
- agogo dancer (!)
Facilitating or Hindering Factors
Related to the children's Dreams and Wishes are what they see as helping or blocking their fulfillment. These were taken from their responses to two opposing SCT sentence stems:
Pakiramdam ko, matutupad ang pangarap ko dahil...
- Makakapag-aral ako (5) (I can go to school.)
- Magba-bagong-buhay na ako. (I will change for the better or 'turn a new leaf') (3)
- Mabait ako. (I am good.) (2)
- sa pagsisikap ko. (thru my own efforts)
- marunong na akong magpatawad. (I can now forgive)
- kilalang-kilala ko na ang sarili ko. (I know myself now.)
- tinutulungan ako ng Virlanie. (Virlanie is helping me.)
- pinalangin ko sa Panginoon. (I prayed about it to God.)
- sa mga naging kasalanan ko (because of my "sins" or wrongdoing) e.g. recruits customers, forced into vices (nangongostumer, nalulong sa masamang bisyo)
- Namo-mroblema ako (I have many problems) (2). e.g. palaging may iniisip, maraming naging problema/hindrance (sagabal).
- Walang tutulong (No one will help me) (2). e.g. tumakas ako sa Virlanie, walang ina na umaalalay.
- hindi ako mabait. (I am not a good person.)
- barkadista ako. (I hang around with the gang.)
- hindi nakapagtapos ng pag-aaral. (I did not finish my schooling)
- pangarap lang naman yon, sa panaginip lang, hindi totoo. (It's just a dream, it's not real.)
VII. RELATIONSHIPS Significant Persons
Adults figured prominently in the girls' listings of significant persons, followed by boyfriends:
Adults (26) Relatives/Family who cared for them (14); Staff (9); Other Adults (3); Boyfriend/Asawa (5); Friends (2)
1. Nurturing (18)
2. Mabait na mabait (very good, kind) (11)
3. Protective (4)
- Pinapangaralan (guides me) (4)
- Verbally and emotionally abusive (5)
1. Nurturing ("spoiled ako doon")
2. Structuring ("sa kanya lang ako tumino")
From the above-mentioned reasons, we see more clearly why "boyfriends" have been included as significant persons to some of the girls: their more major role seems to have been as surrogate parents first, providing love, pampering, and also discipline, then as romantic partners only second.
This becomes even more apparent when the girls are asked what they like most about their boyfriends.
Boyfriends: Ideal Qualities
What he does for her emotionally:
1. NURTURES. (6)
2. DISCIPLINES. (3)
3. PROTECTS. (2)
4. RESPECTS. (2)
5. A FRIEND TO TALK TO. (2)
What he does for her materially:
1. PAMPERS. (6)
2. PROVIDES FOR. (2)
The girls also shared their ideas of a good marriage in completing the sentence stem:
Kung ako'y mag-aasawa, ang pipiliin ko...(If I were to get married, I would choose...)
1. MABAIT (Good person) (5)
2. KAYA AKONG BUHAYIN; MAYAMAN (Can take care of me financially; Is rich) (4)
3. MAPAGMAHAL (Loving) (2) MATINO, MAPAGKAKATIWALAAN (Trustworthy) (2).
The girls' SCT responses relating to family and parents reveal the greater negative, rather than positive, effect, that these have had on their lives.
Many of the girls, in fact, seem to blame their present predicaments to their parents.
Ang Pamilya ko ay: (My Family is...)
1. Magulo. (Chaotic)
2. Sana magbago. (I wish it would change.)
3. Watak-watak. (Dispersed, broken, scattered)
Sana ang Pamilya ko ay: (I wish my family...)
1. Sana magka-sama-sama na ulit kami. (Would be all together again.)
2. Masaya. (Happy)
Ang NANAY ko ay madalas... (My Mother often...)
1. Magalit. (Gets angry)
2. Umalis. (Leaves home)
Dahil sa Nanay ko... (Because of my Mother...)
1. Nagkaroon ko ng problema. (I have problems.)
2. Nasira ang buhay ko. (My life was ruined.)
Ang TATAY ko ay madalas... (My Father often...)
1. Uminom. (Drinks)
2. Mambabae. (Womanizes)
3. Umalis. (Leaves home)
Dahil sa Tatay ko... (Because of my Father...)
1. Ako'y naglayas. (I ran away.)
2. Nahulog ako sa putik. (literally: "I fell into the mud")
VIII. PROSTITUTION EXPERIENCES This portion brings together data on the children's attitudes towards prostitution and its many different facets. The main source for this data was the children's responses to specific questions in the Clinical Interview, although we have also taken note of the times when the theme of prostitution came up in their Projective Stories. We shall present the girls' feelings about the prostitution in chronological order, showing the progression of their feelings as they began their involvement, deepened it, and finally, looking back.
The First Time
1. Masakit. (It was painful.) (5)
Most of the girls reported physical, as well as emotional pain.
Masama. (It's bad.)
Baka mabuntis. (I might get pregnant.)
Nanlata. (I felt drained.)
Nawala sa sarili. (I was not myself.)
Contrasting feelings began to surface as the girls went deeper into the prostitution experience; they had to deal with both the reality of their situation and the concomitant shame and degradation; at the same time, deadening their senses and focusing on the benefits of the "job":"The Benefits" (6)
Trabaho lang (It's just a job); Malaki ang pera (Big money); Feeling mayaman (rich); Enjoy na; Nasanay na (Has gotten used to it).
The Degradation and Shame (6)
Lost one's honor, hated by everybody, loathes oneself, lost interest in oneself, I'm ugly, a prostitute. Repenting because I could no longer find a sensible man. (Nawala ang kapurihan; Sinusuka ng lahat; Sukang-suka sa sarili; Nakakadiri; Wala nang gana sa sarili; Ako'y pangit, babaeng mababa ang lipad; Nagsisisi dahil wala nang kukuhang matinong lalaki.)
All the Negative Feelings (5)
- Fear: Takot magkasakit; Kinakabahan baka magka-AIDS. (2)
- Anger: Nagalit sa Tatay, kundi sa kanya hindi nangyari sa akin ito; (1)
- Fatigue: Laspag na laspag ang katawan; (1)
- Sadness: tend to cry (Napapaiyak). (1)
The principal feeling expressed is one of regret, of realizing that what one was doing was wrong, primarily because of the damage to one's dignity:
1. Nagsisisi. (Regretting) (10)
Some reasons given:
- Shameful, embarassing, ashamed of my looks, loathsome. I realized I would be destroying myself and embarrass my parents if I did that. I'd rather be a thief. (Nakakahiya (5): Masagwang tingnan, Nahihiya sa itsura, Nakakadiri; Napag-isip-isip ko, kung gagawin ko yon bababuyin ko ang sarili ko, papahiyain ko ang magulang; Masisira ang kapurihan mo, mas gusto ko pang magnakaw; Nakakadiri.)
- Ayoko nang balikan kahit wala akong pera (3)
- Nagkakasakit ka (2):
Fell ill, men's impurities accumulated inside me, rots inside, itchy, smells bad, not good, because I got sick (Nagkasakit ako, dumi ng lalaki naipon sa loob ko, nabubulok sa loob, makati, mabaho; Pangit, dahil nagkakasakit.)
- Hindi Tama. (It's not right) (2) Napakalaking kasalanan. Napakasama, ginagamit lang kami.
- Denial: "Hindi ko ginawa yon." (I didn't do that.) (2) No more. I was just invited (Wala na po yon. Niyaya lang po ako.)
- Others: Natatakot maloko at mapatay. (Afraid of being fooled or killed) (1)
Minsan hinahanap-hanap pa. (Looks for it sometimes.)(1)
Even looking back seems to be traumatic, as the girls replied to "Kapag naaalala ko..."
1. Parang nababaliw. (I feel like I'm insane.) (6)
Shocked (Natutulala); Nalilito; Di alam ang gagawin; Parang nababaliw, "Why did this happen?, I seem to lose my sanity, I bang my head on the wall." (Bakit ako nagkaganito?", parang nasisira ang ulo ko, inuuntog ko sa pader.)
2. Both Regret and Addiction also are felt:
Sinisisi ang sarili. (Blame myself.) (2) Despise oneself. I hate myself. Wished it didn't happen. (Nandidiri sa sarili; Naaasar sa sarili ko, "Bakit kaya nangyari sa akin yon? Sana hindi nalang.) Parang gustong bumalik. (Feel like I want to go back to it for the money.) (2) Parang gustong bumalik para magka-pera; Masarap dahil madali ang pera.
The Pros and Cons of the Prostitution Experience
The girls were asked what they liked and disliked about it:
Ang gusto ko doon... (What I like about it...)
1. PERA. (Money) (10)
2. Na-adik sa sex (Addicted to sex.)(1)
3. Nakakapili ng customer (Can choose one's customers.) (1)
Ang ayaw ko doon... (What I don't like about it...)
1. WALA NANG IPAGMAMALAKI. (Have nothing to be proud of anymore.) (17)-Being fucked (Ginagalaw); Sira ang kapurihan, kinabukasan; Nakakadiri; Mababa ang tingin sa sarili; Looks bad because you can't control yourself. (Parang masamang dahil di mo kayang labanan ang sarili mo; Kaluluwa nawawala;
-Binabastos ng pulis at lalake; Mababa ang tingin ng ibang tao, lustful (malibog), pangit; Tinutukso ng mga bata.
2. NASASAKTAN AKO, NAHIHIRAPAN. (It's painful for me; I have a difficult time.) (7)
- I am being abused. (Napapaglaruan ang sarili ko.)
- You don't love the person (Hindi mo naman mahal yung tao).
- Minsan abusado, ayaw na ng katawan mo, ng sarili mo, pero gusto pa nila.
The Effects on My Life
The girls' responses here are still consistent with the impression of having been marred, defiled, and damaged, as well as having their future ruined and their bodies scarred.
1. Sira na ang puri. (Irreparably defiled.) (5)
2. Sira na ang kinabukasan. (Future is ruined.) (3)
Masisira ang buhay, di makakapag-aral, dahil sa drugs. Nangangayayat, laspag ang katawan (Lost weight, Wasted/ Worn out body, Get infected.) (3) Katawan naging matured, worn out because was used by many (nalalaspag dahil maraming gumagamit); Naging sakitin; Nagkakasakit ng tulo.
- Kasalanan ko ang lahat. (It's all my fault.) (3)
Prostitute doesn't care, doesn't think of the future, merely sleeps with men, restless, sleeps with any man, so she died of AIDS. (Babaeng binabayaran, walang pakialam sa buhay, di iniisip ang kinabukasan, higa lang ng higa sa lalaki, galawgaw; Kung sino-sinong lalaki sinamahan--- kaya namatay ng AIDS.
- Wala (Nothing) (3).
And finally, the girls' view of sex, which is similarly confused by notions of it being bad, sinful, as well as being _very pleasurable:
Ang sex ay... (Sex is...)
1. MASAMA. (Bad.) (8)
- Hindi dapat pag-usapan. (Must not be discussed.)
- Masama sa katawan. (Bad for the body.)
- Nakakasira ng kinabukasan. (Destroys one's future.)
2. Masarap ng masarap. (Very, very pleasurable.) (2)
How do the girls cope up with the desire to have sex? Unfortunately, based on their responses, they don't seem to have found constructive ways to deal with this:
Kapag naiisip ko na gusto kong makipagtalik... (When I feel I like to have sex...)
- minsan hinahanap ko rin, nagpi-pick-up, nilalandi ko siya (Sometimes I look for it, I pick up men, I flirt
- ayoko kasi masama ( I don't like it because its bad)
- Nasasarapan ako (I feel pleasure.)
Thus feeling and saying, can we really say the girls will be able to get away from their situation? That is the question that remains for us now.
Results and Discussion
As with all forays into "unexplored terrain", no matter how prepared you are, the trail is not without its surprises. In terms of exploratory and phenomenological research, the researcher needs to be ready at all times for unexpected developments in the process and be open to unanticipated data. These surprises, rather than becoming "unnecessary nuisances" or "cumbersome detours", are exactly what the researchers are looking for. They are the gifts of exploration and a very valuable data.
The interview, specifically the process where children tell their stories, was found to be a critical area in their whole dynamics and already speaks a lot for what is going on inside them.
When the pre-tests were done in June 1994 and the first few girls were interviewed at Virlanie Elizabeth Home, the team encountered a very little difficulty. The girls were found to be very cooperative, quite articulate and outspoken about their experiences. There seemed to have a very little need for rapport-building. The first question on Significant Life Events was responded openly and eagerly. Thus, it was with much (may be too much) confidence and without second thoughts, the team resumed the interviews in January 1995. Surprisingly, things worked differently in January with a different group of girls and a different venue. Taken aback, the team retraced its tracks. They sat down to review and reflect on what had happened.
These interviews revealed a different dynamics which they have never encountered before and something the social workers have been warning them about. And this was the beginning of their "unexplored terrain".
In the initial interview session, the team conducted the normal 20-30 minutes rapport-building within the group. It consisted of introduction among the interviewers and the children and providing explanation of the reasons for interview. Although they appeared in varying degrees, the girls who more withdrawn and defensive, nonetheless, welcomed the easy conversation and participated openly.
Most of the girls refused to admit their involvements in "diskarte". "No, we didn't do it." One of the girls defiantly spoke up, "I didn't do it", and in quick succession, the two others piped in, "I, too, didn't do it", "Yes, we didn't". Accordingly, none of them had been involved in "that" practice because "we have boyfriends out there we can always depend on." A member of the research team went back to the social workers to validate if the girls were properly selected. The social workers reiterated that all the girls have had involvements in prostitution.
In the subsequent individual interviews, each girl maintained what they have earlier claimed about and continued their denials. They all insisted that "yes, we knew some girls who make diskarte' and we aren't doing it." It seemed that being in a group have reinforced their opportunity to deny the experience.
However, in the succeeding interviews with other groups of girls and boys and individuals alike, denials are not uncommon. It existed even without the "reinforcing" group. Very few of the children readily, openly and completely disclosed whatever involvements they have had in prostitution including all the feelings and inner experiences that went through with it. Majority of the children have, either, partially or fully denied their prostitution experiences in the following ways:
Some of the children admitted doing it, "but only once and I never did it again," drastically minimizing the actual experience (as contained in social workers' files) they had.
Some of them denied any involvements in prostitution. One girl who led the group in saying "No, we didn't," vehemently and unfailingly maintained that "yes, I had close friends who took part in it'." "I asked many times but I had always refused these offers and I only watched from the sidelines."
Her denials were quite extreme to the point of professing ignorance about the actual activity.
However, as she told more and more of the stories about "yung karanasan nila," ("their experiences") she revealed a proficient knowledge of the intricacies of the trade that belied her earlier claims.
Her companion during that interview also maintained until the end that she "was not that kind of girl."
J. requested the mother to tell the team that she had a headache and can not be interviewed in that particular day. The interviewer caught her up in the hall, approached her where she was sitting and asked how she was. She was very quiet and her head turned away amidst the loud prodding of embarrassed staff members to yield her to the interview, "Di ba may interbyu ka? Mag-pa-interbyu ka na! Sensing the girl's apprehension, the interviewer reflected this and said, "Ang hirap talagang mag-kuwento ano? Kasi kailangan mo pang balikan yung nakaraan, tapos bumabalik lahat ng sakit, lahat ng lungkot, parang nararamdaman mo na naman lahat..." At this dialogue, J. began to cry softly. Then, she allowed the interviewer to come back on another day.
Greater Need for Rapport-Building
On the other hand, other children, began the interview by disclaiming any involvement and later on conceded to having had some experience. For example, when asked about "pamamakla" (going out with homosexual), some boys would immediately deny such involvement. Though, they admitted that they had been asked or propositioned once or twice. In the later part of the interview, when asked by the researcher "Was there any time when you were unable to say No'?", several of these boys gradually told their real (or incomplete) stories. This emphasized that children needed more time to warm up to the interview process and to become comfortable. Another significant factor that has pointed out and has to develop was the children's trust to the interviewer. The team saw the need for more rapport-building in this group.
Having confirmed that the first three girls that were interviewed told unreal stories, the team decided to conduct a follow-up interview. On the second session, the girls' strong resistance to the possibility of a repeated (but renewed) questioning was readily apparent.
The other girls also showed this kind of internal resistance. Whenever the word "diskarte" was mentioned in a conversation, there was almost always, a change in countenance, a sudden seriousness, quietness, long pauses before responding and often, sadness in their faces. Often, they will start saying something then stopping halfway and again, saying something else e.g., in telling about one of M's boyfriends, "Mabait siya, matulungin, kasi pinasok niya ako sa clu...sa isang bahay..."
It seemed that majority of these children were not only denying the experience to the interviewers (so as to maintain a certain "persona") but there seemed to have an even greater need to deny it to themselves, to avoid the pains, the regrets and unpleasant memories.
L. : Si J. po, dumidiskarte rin po iyon. Hindi lang po sinabi.
Interviewer : Sa iyo, kunyari, kung nangyari sa iyo yun mahihiya ka bang sabihin? (If that happened to you, would you be ashamed to say it?)
L. : Mahihiya ako siyempre. Kasi, kung baga yun ang sikreto mo, e. Bubulaslasin mo pa. (I will be ashamed of course. That is my secret. Why should I blurt it out?)
One boy expressed the same thing when he referred to prostitution as "trabahong masama, isi-sikret mo." (A "bad" job should be kept a secret.)
A Different Strategy
Despite the children's denials the interviewers were able to elicit feelings and opinions on the topics concerned in a roundabout' way. When the children were asked about in the third person they often readily shared what they felt and thought. Example, in projective assessment, children who were hesitant to share their own feelings and experiences were instead asked how their friends in prostitution felt, or how a child "na nag-di-diskarte" feels. Thus, the questioning style was purposely modified. Example, if a child has to share his/her involvements in prostitution, the interviewer asked "Yung mga kaibigan mong dumidiskarte, ano ang nararamdaman nila?" or "Anong nararamdaman ng isang batang dumidiskarte?"
Exploring this avenue of expression, L. (who completely denied any prostitution involvement) became quite voluble. She spoke lengthily on the in's and out's of the trade. she tenaciously stuck to her denial, however, diligently punctuating significant sentences with one or two "daw's" ("they say"), e.g. "Minsan daw, umpisa lang daw nakakadiri, pero pag nasanay ka na raw, parang bale wala na raw po." (They say that it was gross in the beginning but once you get used to it, it does not matter anymore.) Still, her responses were richly revealing of her innermost feelings.
In that same account, J. had readily volunteered the story of her friend "Sandy", who was deep in prostitution and she was kind of empathic. "Naaawa kami sa kanila, parang gusto namin silang turuan na magnakaw na lang kaysa mag-'ano'". (We empathized with them. We want to teach them to steal rather than 'do'.)
Based on these experiences, the team modified future interviews, thus:
The children find it more tempting to make denials in a group, rapport-building was conducted in a one-to-one basis between an interviewer and the respondent.
The children needed more time to warm up, the rapport-building sessions were lengthened (30 minutes of drawing). It was also extended by re-arranging questions so that the more threatening ones about life events and prostitution experiences were asked towards the end.
The team focused on the inner lives of the children. They recognized that denial was an integral part of the children's self-concept and their inner worlds. They concentrated on the questions about feelings, thoughts and perceptions whether these were expressed directly or in the third person (e.g., "Sabi nila...").
Questions on concrete experiences were still asked but if the children were elusive they were not pushed aside.
The projective tests, which were essentially non-threatening instruments in the forms of pictures, stories and drawings, were also of great value in eliciting in-depth information that may be consciously unacceptable to the person.
One significant finding of the team was the highly noticeable lack of affect or "flatness" in the way the children tell their stories. This is not to say that they did not express any feelings, in fact, their words were so graphically and intensely depicted the harshness of their experiences. The intensity of their emotions was solid that anyone listening to them could not escape feeling the violence themselves. However, the children had a way of saying things whereby feelings were only distantly recalled. They were, as if held at arm's length--there was anger, but it wasn't there now; there was pain, but it wasn't on their faces; they were reporting it, talking about it, but not feeling it then and there.
Often, the experience of talking to the group was like "watching the surface of a pond waiting for the frightened fish to come up quickly for air, and then, just as quickly, disappear again below the surface", except with those children who were completely open and candid. The metaphor described them as popping out then slipping back in again. Generally, the children's moment of disclosure were few, far-between and fleeting--something that would be revealed in passing, something very intimate and raw. Afterwhich, the talk would go back to superficials and denials and then somewhere further, they would admit some little bit again and then nothing again and so on.
There was also a very common tendency to block out whole episodes in their lives and "jumping over them" as if nothing happened during that period. Example, a girl said, "Lumayas ako du'n sa ampunan kasi malulupit sila. Tapos, tumakbo ako ng tumakbo, tumakbo ako ng tumakbo.tapos nakarating ako sa Juvenile. Inalagaan na nila ako duon," (I ran away from the institution because they were cruel. So, I ran and ran and ran until I got into Juvenile. They took care of me there.) skipping over her whole street experience.
The "blocking out" of experiences was compounded by an almost absent sense of chronology, whereby events were related in a jumbled fashion and with outright disregard for their sequence in time. Often, the interviewer would interrupt the respondent and ask "Teka, akala ko...? or "Alin ang nauna...?" as the children went on telling something about what happened to them in sequel or one after another without giving when and where it all happened. It seemed that they saw their lives not as a progressive continuum of events but more like a mixed-up "stew" which it does not matter which happened before which.
By these reasons, the team had a constant feeling of "piecing fragments together" because the children can not give a coherent, intact and organized view of their own lives. They tell their stories in a little, often disjointed, incomplete, ephemeral, not quite everything but quite a lot. Often, the team felt like a group of archaeologists, groping, finding a piece of a thighbone here, a segment of a jawbone there and from these fragments, creating a whole image.
The interview process afforded the team a substantial "first look" at what must be going on in the children's "inner worlds." There was a fascination or a challenged resulted by the expressed urgency with which experiences need to be blocked out or forgotten and downplayed or held at a distance.
Summary and Highlights
In this section, an abbreviated and highlighted comparison was presented. A narrative explanation of the main categories immediately follows.
At the core (or unconscious) of the girls' self concept is an underlying feeling of being dehumanized, degraded, defiled and dirty (nababoy) which comes with a deep feeling of sadness. This is covered up by a conscious self concept which is also "split" of contrasting - they see themselves as both "mabait" (good) and "masama" (bad girl). This reflects the split within themselves - or their two selves. It seems that in order to psychologically survive, they have to split or somewhat dissociate. They need to deny their unacceptable selves in order to continue being prostituted. This denial can also be reinforced by the gains and benefits of the trade - having money to buy basic needs and some luxuries, feeling competent that they are able to earn money and take care of themselves and even support their families.
Unlike the sexually abused girls who see themselves as powerless and helpless victims, the girl prostitutes have some sense of power and in a sense, they are not just victims they also, use or somehow "victimize" people. It's important to note, at this point, that some of them also express a desire to change (gusto magbago). Their different selves are constantly at play along the continuum of acceptance and denial. This complex inner dynamics has important implications to psychotherapy and intervention programs which will be discussed later.
The boys' self concept also reflect two sides or layers. At the core or deeper layer is their intense unconscious overwhelming need to be nurtured and cared for, as they perceive themselves to be neglected and abandoned (pinabayaan). But consciously (outward or upper layer) - they see themselves as helpful and caring for others. Both layers have to do with nurturing and caring. It seems that the boys would like to assume the role or see themselves in the role of caregivers but (or because), underneath there is a very strong need to be taken cared of themselves. They long to be nurtured by caring parents thus they try to be the nurturing parents they never had.
Their feelings like their self-concept, are very much at the core of their inner world. The most predominant underlying feeling of the girls is sadness, pain and despair, a pain which they push aside by fantasizing being "masaya", being happy in a supportive, "real" lasting romantic relationship. This makes it difficult for them to openly express their underlying deep sadness and loneliness inside.
The boys mostly feel pained - both bodily and emotionally. They express a deep longing to be happy. They store their feelings in their bodies so they have bodyaches, stomachache, and headache (somatize). For the boys, it seems more acceptable to express deep emotional pain that they would like to deny through their bodyaches.
This dynamics can also be observed in general among the males in our culture, e.g. the macho image - and must be addressed in therapy.
Both girls and boys see the world as neglecting, rejecting and abandoning. Both hope for a relationship to be happy. The boys would hope for a nurturing, caring, parent-child relationship while the girls hope for a romantic relationship, and that someone will rescue them, be faithful to them, and not to exploit them and desert them.
Both girls and boys cope with their difficult situation through some form of denial. The girls dream of a happy future, fantasize and distract themselves, while the boys escape by sleeping, reading, playing, helping others and running away - in order to avoid confronting the pain inside them.
Dreams and Wishes
The girls wish that they have a new life--one that is rid of the "bad deeds," first, and then they wish that their parents would change; whereas the boys, again dream of and wish for a nurturing and happy relationship; followed by success in a new life and to have a respectable job and be competent.
The girls believe that their dreams could be fulfilled if they are able to study and finish school but they feel hindered by their having been "sinful" (prostitution). On the other hand, boys believe that their dreams can be fulfilled because of their own steadfastness and perseverance and again if someone will be nurture. Their dreams may not be fulfilled because they are not capable, they are poor and they are bad, and because of their family being what they are. In terms of relationship, both boys and girls consider adults as significant persons, more than their peers, that is normally expected of their age, being adolescents. This can easily be understood when we see that the reason has to do with the adults being nurturing. This has important implication for therapy.
Their need to be nurtured comes through again and again. Let us now turn to an important aspect of their inner lives:
The Prostitution Experience and the Inner Process
They go Through
This is discussed under the following categories:
First time, Later, Now, When They Remember, What they Like/Dislike About it, Its Effects on Them.
A. First Time
The girls experienced pain, (masakit), fear of being pregnant, feeling drained and "nawala sa sarili" (being not themselves or colloquially "going crazy" or losing their minds) I While the boys felt afraid, and "nalalaswaan" (it's gross), "I began to think and feel that I'm homosexual". But they contradict this by "It's okay, I enjoy it." The "split" is expressed clearly in the phrase "masarap na mahirap" (it's enjoyable and difficult). It is also important to note that they distinguish between the pedophile (foreigner) and the homosexual with the pedophile, it's enjoyable, with the homosexual, it's bad. This must be pointed out and understood in the light of our culture, that for the boys, it is not prostituting itself that is their concern, (bad) but it is being a homosexual, or doing it with a homosexual that makes prostitution really bad. Therefore, the underlying fear is that they might become "bakla" or homosexuals. This again reflects the macho image of the male in the culture.
The girls think of it as just a "job," "we enjoy it, we've gotten used to it". The boys, in the same vain, say that when they think about it later, they feel that it cannot be avoided - that they get addicted to the sex and money and the disgusting feeling is no longer there.
This points to the need for early intervention and for preventive measures on the policy level.
When they think about it now and look back, the girls are "nagsisisi" (regretting) and it's shameful especially in the way others view them and "nakakadiri" (disgusting).
The boys, in a similar spirit, now see the prostitution experience as "pangit" (ugly, bad) and "nawawala ang dangal mo" (you lose your dignity and honor). But in the same breath, they say that it is okay to prostitute if you do not have money. The girls feel that they are going insane, they get confused, spaced out, and they had "enough" of it. They then blame themselves but at the same time they want to go back to it.
Whenever the boys say that they get confused, they feel shame and they "go berserk". They want to forget and they don't want to go back to it, which contradicts what they say about their being "addicted."
C. What I Like
Both girls and boys unanimously say they like the money. The boys feel the same way but they also say that they are enjoying it and that they like having someone with them (they are not alone anymore).
D. What I Dislike
The girls say that they have no more honor, nothing to be proud of, and it is painful and difficult. The boys on the other hand, fear getting sick and they feel it is not normal because it's "boys to boys," again related to the fear and disgust toward becoming homosexual.
The difference seems to be reflective of how our culture views the girls versus the boys, with regards to sexual relationships.
E. What is the Effect on Them
The girls say that first, they have lost their dignity, they have ruined their future, and their bodies are wasted away.
The boys see the effects differently - on their bodies - they feel weak and they get sick. They further say that because it's "bad", they keep it a secret, and one said he became "good at sex."
Based on this in-depth understanding of the main similarities and differences between the inner lives, experiences and views on prostitution, of the boys and girls, we can now proceed to the Implications for Psychotherapeutic Interventions and Policies.
Recommendations for Therapeutic Intervention and
Policy-making (Based on the Findings)
This section will consist of suggestions for specific intervention strategies, and some program implications for centers and policy makers.
a) The need for a deeper knowledge and shared philosophical orientation and attitude.
Before any technique can be effective, it must be based on thorough understanding of the person being helped. This understanding of the boy and girl child prostitutes must be integrated and translated into a shared belief or conviction about them among the caregivers. This is a necessary starting point in order that the caregiver can have an attitude of unconditional acceptance of the child's painful psychological state, which is accompanied by basic sense of hope.
In this particular group of children, the results of the research help us to acquire this attitude orientation, we have seen a complex interplay of the layers of selves in both the prostituted girl and boy.
For the girls, there is a deep unconscious core feeling of being degraded, disgraced and defiled, but it is covered by a conscious and "split" self that is both "mabait" (good) and "masama" (bad). Perhaps, since it is too painful for them to see and accept this, the denying second self is needed. Therefore, denial has been an established survival and defense mechanism that must be carefully dealt with in therapy.
In a similar manner, for the boys, the conscious and verbalized self concept of being "matulungin" (helpful and caring) is "covering" the deep core need to be helped and nurtured and taken cared of themselves and the core feeling of being neglected and abandoned (pinabayaan).
After knowing and understanding this, it is important to connect with their desire to change (gusto magbago) to give the caregiver the necessary basic sense of hope. This can be used as an entry point to begin the difficult intervention process ahead.
b.) Similarities and Differences in the Therapeutic Approaches for Girls and Boys
For the girls, the therapist must first connect with their desire to change as an entry point. However, one must not get stuck in the first layer of being "mabait" but "dig into the layers of defenses" to get to the core feeling, (nababoy) and to facilitate their acceptance of this denied feeling, as well as their fantasy of being worthy, good and respected.
To facilitate their acceptance of this real or core feeling, is a necessary starting point or their rehabilitation. The therapeutic process will not be simple and easy because it entails the integration of the two parts of the self or the two selves. This is where Creative Therapeutic techniques such as Expressive Therapies can be of help. Intensive training on Expressive Therapies for the caregiver is therefore necessary.
For the boys, it is also necessary to go beyond their verbalized self-concept of being "matulungin" and not to reinforce this, but rather to go beyond this "layer" of defense and allow them to connect with and accept their deeper feeling of "pinabayaan" (abandoned and neglected). But their need to be parented and nurtured must first be met through interaction with alternative caring parental figures (mother and father figures in the center) who are not harsh and neglecting like their biological parents.
Expressive Therapies will also facilitate their acceptance of this need and not cover it up. At the same time, the boys need regular physical activities (e.g. sports, dancing, gardening, etc.) in order to provide the release of feelings stored in their bodies (they tend to somatize) "masakit ang katawan", etc.
Therefore, both girls and boys need to experience an attitude of unconditional and non-judgmental acceptance from the caregivers so they can let go of their layers of defenses as they go through the therapeutic journey through the use of Expressive Therapies.
The staff (counselor) would need intensive training in Expressive Therapies such as: creative body movement with music, dance therapy, puppetry and drama, role laying, clay, painting, coloring, drawing and doodling (the arts), therapeutic story-telling, dreams and dream-drawing, etc. These techniques do not depend on the verbal articulation of feelings and are non-threatening.
Therefore, they are more effective in tuning into the denied underlying or inner feelings especially in the beginning of the therapy process.
The counselor or therapist can tune in to the part of their self concept that is "may kakayahan" (has competencies). On-going and side by side with the actual therapy sessions, the staff can recognize certain competencies that the children have, no matter how seemingly unimportant they seem to be (e.g. gardening, cleaning, etc.). These competencies can be recognized and developed and can help "empower" them and provide some kind of a balance as they confront their painful inner feelings in therapy sessions. Later on, they can actually earn from their skills (e.g. I.G.P. -Income Generating Projects, etc.). This sense of competence in themselves, can also be a key factor in establishing child-to-child (peer) programs where they can form teams in helping each other as they move along towards self-sufficiency.
Feelings of hostility and anger (especailly expressed by the boys) need to be accepted without censure and judgment. Aggressive behavior can be dealt with by providing safe, constructive channels together with reasonable and fair limits (no hurting of another, etc.).
Because of the predominant cultural bias, (i.e. double standards) wherein the female is more burdened with feelings of shame and guilt with regards to sexual activity, the therapist and staff must consciously remind themselves not to reinforce this bias by making degrading remarks such as "hostess," "babaeng mababa ang lipad," "pakawala" - about the girls, further shaming them and adding to their feeling of unworthiness and shame.
In this regard the male and female staff members must be willing to act as role models in not perpetuating this cultural bias.
In the therapy process words like "kaya mo 'yan," "you have to face reality," are counter productive as shown be experience. Instead of being able to accept their deeper feelings, these words make them feel misunderstood, angry and not heard. It also exacerbates their tendency to feel they are alone and to suffer alone instead of burdening the therapist with their troubles and painful feelings.
Group sessions (done well) can help them feel "I'm not alone", and can be very powerful in making them feel understood. Training in group therapy is also suggested.
In this particular aspect, the therapist must be able to "stay with the pain" (both hers and the child's)-in order to "accompany" the child through the therapeutic journey. There is a paradox in therapy - "if you stay with the pain, it will move and you can move on; if you move away and avoid it, it will stay."
To reframe their very negative world view, (e.g. all men are selfish, abusive, etc.) the male and female staff can provide alternative role models for how men and women interact with mutual respect.
The center must be a safe place where violence is not perpetuated. At present, some centers still use harsh, punitive methods of discipline, e.g. kalbo, suntok, sampal, sigaw, mura, (clean shaving, hitting, slapping, shouting, cussing and threats).
Instead, the center must be a safe place where the children are not further abused
but treated with respect, dignity, and affection.
The caregivers need to be very aware of their own feelings and unresolved issues and to own them to avoid projecting them to the children. This is important because transference and counter-transference issues are more intense for this particular group of children.
For the caregivers, group discussions done in an accepting and supportive atmosphere must be scheduled regularly. This is necessary so that they can have a venue for the release of feelings and to be helped in sorting out their feelings.
This can also help sustain their energy and optimism which are necessary to continue working with the children. This group moral support is vital to prevent burn-out among the caregivers.
Other burn-out prevention techniques must be practiced regularly by the center staff both individually, and as a group.
Therapists, counselors and caregivers can be greatly helped by keeping a personal journal where they can write, draw, release or capture their feelings. This enables them to have a "grasp" and sense of control over their feelings and to self-observe their own process.
Fights with the other children is their most frequently mentioned reason for running away from the center. In this regard, the center staff can be given training in conflict resolution. It is important that they may first be guided in applying these conflict resolution strategies on themselves.
Finally, policy-makers can likewise be briefed as to the special needs of the girls and boys in prostitution, and therefore provide the training and support needed by the caregiver.
As part of the long term rehabilitation program, and as a preventive measure, families (parents and other resources in the extended families) can be helped in the different aspects of parenting (economically, morally and socially) so that our children do not have to be forced to live in the streets where they can get caught in prostitution.
After all, eventually, children must come back and live with their families within the communities.
This material is found in the ICCB publication, "The Sexual Exploitation of Children - Field Responses."
This report is the result of the Review of Literature and the In-Depth Study on "The Inner and Outer World of Prostituted Children." The first part of this report is the review of literature. The review was drawn from various sources of information that tackles the experiences of children in prostitution and the current intervention strategies that address their situations. The second part consists of an in-depth psychological assessment of twenty-four (24) female and male prostituted children in Manila. The review of literature and the study was conducted by the Greenhills Creative Child Center Research Team from January to October 1995.
Robles, Diaz, Gonzales and Uysiuseng, 1987; Carandang, Gonzales and Dela Paz, 1993; Carandang, Nisperos, et. Al., 1994.
Robles, et. al., 1987; Carandang, et. al., 1993; Carandang, Nisperos, et. al., 1994
The research team was composed of the following: Research Director/Consultant: Dr. Ma. Lourdes Carandang, Ph.D.; Research Associate; Priscilla Gonzales-Fernando, M.A.; Therapists/Researchers: Rosalea Araneta, M.A.; Aileen Lagisma-Sison, M.A.; Kathleen Nisperos, M.A.; Research Assistant: Nerissa Pabillo
Interviewer, however, was unrestricted to this sequence and they can change these elements according to the easiness of the respondents to self-disclosure.
the child's inner and outer world: a study of the phenomenology of the child in prostitution
"Sabi ko, Angelica, ayokong mag-diskarte. Magnanakaw na lang ako kasi ayoko talagang mag-diskarte. Mandurukot na lang ako. Tapos sabi niya, O, sige, kung ayaw mo, ako na lang.'" "Minsan tinatawag sila, minsan ako po, pero ayoko po talaga kasi..."
"Dati po hindi ko alam ang salitang diskarte', e, natutunan ko lang po iyon sa MYRC."