Thursday, March 19, 2009

On CHIKININIS and Filipinos

For a school project, we were tasked by our Philosophy teacher to write a poem about a dozen different topics which confront our ethical views. One of these topics was “sexuality”. I was told a long time ago that there are only two topics which can most likely produce really great poetry—love and sex. I took the risk and wrote something “sexual”. (Or so I think.)

The title of my poem was “Chikinini”. In English, a Chikinini is a kiss mark or a hickey. When I told my friends about it, they were both thrilled and slightly disgusted by the thought. I wondered why. Then I realized quite a couple of things.

Although (I think) a hickey is fun to discuss, I realized that there are a lot of things about sex that we, Filipinos, are afraid to tackle just because we are too concerned of what others will think or say about us. Take note, a hickey is even on the “more wholesome” side of the world of sex. Are Filipinos more wary about discussing the other not-so-wholesome-but-recurring topics about sex? Surely. Due to our apprehensions towards the world of sex and its trappings, we are always in danger of being misinformed. I strongly believe this is the reason for a lot of unwanted pregnancies, sexual intercourse with poor consent, rape and even nymphomania.

See, when we don’t talk about sex, we try to find out about it on our own. If you’re one of the smarter ones, you would scour for academic literature and read about sex. However if you find the academic boring and the non-academic better, you might get the wrong notions and build a more risky impression towards sex. There’s a flood of wrong information about sex in different media. And there are peers who can “offer” you pieces of “advice” about their sexual experiences. (Believe me, you will find them amusing and before you know it, you will get overly curious.)

I realized that a hickey can actually ignite one of the strongest sexual curiosities because of its air of mystery. Plus the Filipino backdrop covering the mystery of sex, which has already set uncontrolled curiosities on fire. The truth is, whenever I see a hickey, I’d think “Who gave that hickey? Is it a legitimate lover or otherwise? What did they do before and after the hickey? Was the hickey given a hickey back? How many hickeys are hidden beneath his/her clothing? Which hickey felt the most blissful? Which is more fulfilling, to give or receive one? Could I give a better one? Could I receive a better one? How about a better looking one?” See, my mind wanders at the simple sight of a lover’s I-was-here mark. And even though I am itching to say my thoughts aloud, I’d still crumple them together and throw them away. After all, I am a Filipina, I have Filipinos around me, and we know how Filipinos are. However, surprisingly, when I was writing Chikinini, I did not feel any form of embarrassment. Maybe it’s because I’ve always felt at home with my poetry. I have known my poetry for so long that I don’t know who I am without it anymore. Poetry is my way of expressing myself, but since not all Filipinos are poets or can write about hickeys (and other sexually-charged topics) freely, I still worry about the shoulder-shaking threat of misinformation.

Are you worried too? Tell me about it.


mademOiselle said...
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rainisrian said...

Hmmm. I've never given a hickey to my lover before.

Interesting read you got here. :)