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Usapang Tatay: Why My Son Only Gets Circumcised At Age 11
  • The following story came straight from the first-ever Smart Parenting daddy editor-at-large, and the man behind the DadbudPH Facebook community, with over 37,000 member dads as of writing. 

    Smart Parenting's advocacy, now more than ever, is to include dads in parenting conversations. We want to provide a judgment-free space where dads can voice out their unique points of view, whether majority agrees or not. Smart Parenting remains a platform that's  pro-parents, and that includes dads.

    Read the words of  our daddy editor Joey Ong, 43 years old, husband to Ciara, and father to a cute toddler named Joselito.


    It’s 2022 and two years have passed since the start of the pandemic. Two summers ago, for sure, madaming bata ang hindi nakaranas ng unforgettable summer that transformed them into the man they hoped to be. That exciting time in a boy's life when he can no longer be teased as “supot” by his friends.


    Bakit ba napaka big deal nito? Ano ba ang special about this event in a boy's life and why do we need to go through it in our early teens?

    Let me start by laying down the ground rules before I continue with this story.

    We belong to a society where being circumcised is a must for all men. Sasabihin ko na, at supot lang ang kokontra, oo, hindi ka pwedeng lumaki without getting circumcised in our society.

    There are a few valid reasons why, and culture is the top one.

    Circumcision is a must

    I guess this was influenced by the Catholic Church, which became part of our culture later on. Sa totoo lang, as far as I know, wala pa kong kilala na adult Filipino man na hindi pa tuli. If meron man, I doubt if he will ever admit it. 93% of Filipino males are circumcised.

    They say there is a medical reason for it because it is more sanitary when the foreskin is removed exposing your pride and joy for you to come face to face with every day. Believe me, there is a big difference, both physically and emotionally.

    Guava leaves have healing and antibacterial properties
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    Ok, hindi lahat ng Pinoy guys dumaan sa unforgettable summer where one had to wear a skirt, chew on bayabas leaves, and come back to school as a full-on, complete man with less skin on his body.

    The irony of it right?

    Infant circumcison

    I have a friend with zero idea about this experience because his parents decided to spare them the pain and process as a teen by having him circumcised as a baby.

    Para hindi daw maalala and tapos na. Lucky? That depends on whom you ask.

    The question of having your son circumcised as a baby or as a teen has been discussed a few times in my Dadbudph community and true enough, mas madami parin na Pinoy dads who would prefer having their sons undergo circumcusion during summer, pre-teen, as a rite of passage to becoming a man.

    Ibig sabihin nito is you basically start off with your life “supot”. Sounds unnecessary? Hear me out and maybe my point of view will add some sense to this logic. This is again, my own personal opinion which may be shared by most dads who, like myself, had to go through the whole process during our early teens. 

    Rite of passage

    If you were circumcised as a baby, you likely have zero idea on what the whole “supot” stage feels like. Most of my friends who were circumcised at birth can’t relate to the feeling at all. Wala silang special summer kaya sorry nalang sa kanila.


    They were the kids teasing us uncircumcised kids in grade school but looking back, they had zero basis and idea on exactly what they were talking about. In reality, I kind of feel sorry for them for missing out on the best summer of a young man's life.

    That summer we became men. Our first triumph in life. The year we conquered our first life challenge. That last summer when our mothers would ever see our future partner in crime. I am now a man and let me enter the halls of my school with my chin up, full of pride.

    Hindi na ako supot!

    That was the most memorable summer of my pre-teen life and now, I am ready for bigger things in life like a girlfriend. Ok, this was back in the early 90’s so my peg of romance back then was the movie My Girl and that was very, very wholesome.


    Ang sabi-sabi pa is tatangkad daw pag nagpa-tuli kaya lahat kami sa batch ko na parating nasa harap ng pila sa flag ceremony ay excited.

    Tween circumcision

    There are a few ways circumcision is done in our country.

    1. The ways of the older generation

    The traditional way where you line up in a park together with all your friends and a man, who most of the time, is not a doctor but just some guy brave and experienced enough to do this ceremony. He or she will pull the foreskin on a solid object, a blade on top, then voila!

    It is what it is, #pukpok. Sanitary? Not at all.

    You will be asked to chew on bayabas leaves for its medical properties and after the man chops off your foreskin, you will spit the chewed leaves on your manhood, if you haven’t swallowed it yet from that agonizing scream.

    This was or probably is still how it’s being done in some provinces, although there are Free Tuli programs already being done by LGUs in their health centers.

    (Editor's note: Smart Parenting encourages parents to ensure the safety of your child's circumcision. Department of Health also encourages circumcision with well-trained doctor or health professionals.)

    2. The clinic

    Luckily, in the early 90’s when it was my turn, clinics were already available and it was a quick, unforgettable process. Usually back then, sabay-sabay ang magpipinsan, parang batchmates kayo, tapos bonding 'yun.

    Buti nalang wala pang social media at walang pictures pero sayang din dahil ok sana na memory yung group photo na naka-palda lahat. In a clinic, hindi totoo pag sinabi nila na parang kagat lang ng langgam. Giant langgam yun kung ganon.


    Ang naalala ko ay meron choices on the cut. Back in the 80’s they called it “German cut” where the foreskin is completely removed and in the 90’s they introduced the “V-Cut” and “Dorsal cut” where the skin is folded or tucked in.

    Ok diba? Parang gupit lang kay Manong Barbero, pwede ka pa pumili. Kahit iba-iba man ang style, yung pagdadaan after ay pare-pareho. You will have your first real bonding with your now ready-for-the-world and hoodie-off BFF. 

    Passing on the experience

    I am now a dad of a boy and now is my chance to allow him experience this same glory that I was lucky enough to be blessed with as a kid. When my child's gender was revealed to us via an ultrasound, my excitement could not be contained.

    I prayed so hard to have a son and my prayers were answered. My son greeted me with his penis.


    Yes, the doctor looked at me and then my wife while pointing at the image of what is clearly a penis of an unborn baby saying hello to us. It was one of those sure things, she didn’t even need to double check. That’s a penis all right.

    I was ecstatic and was jumping up and down in the ultrasound room. My grin was from ear to earAZ and definitely, I was blessed with a boy. The first thing that popped in my head was, yes! I am having a son and I am the happiest dad-to-be that day.

    The second was the image of him getting circumcised when he turns 11. The whole experience flashed in my head and I was super proud to imagine my son becoming a man. 

    Discussing circumcision with your wife

    There was no argument with my wife about when he will be circumcised. It was a given that he will get it done and my wife already saw how excited I was so she didn't even bother to argue with me. It was something she gave me as my call for our son. I asked her if it was her choice, what would she decide on and she said when our baby was still in the hospital "para tapos na".

    I am lucky that my wife respects my belief and this was another blessing that I got from that experience. So now that our son is turning two soon, he is “supot” like how he should be.


    He will grow up that way until he turns 11 and on that summer, we will have this talk and he will be excited to go with me to the doctor to have this done. I will not sugarcoat it by telling him it is not painful, because it is. I am excited for him to be excited to go through the pain and suffering of having to wash his “nangangamatis” na pututoy.

    He will walk around the house wearing a skirt. He will be teased in school for sure by those kids who have zero idea about what they are talking about. He will cry and his mom will have to say goodbye to seeing his birdie forever.


    My son will become a man that summer, 9 years from today. I will be the proudest dad who will definitely make fun of him when he cries. Brutal? Yes in the most fatherly way. Time will go by fast and as I hold on to each special day that my son is growing so fast, I am both excited and sad that this summer of transformation is going to happen and my baby boy will enter a stage in his life that starts with that painful yet meaningful experience. Soon enough, he will be dealing with life’s real challenges.

    I am a dad, no matter what happens he will always be my baby and the best part of me.

    The question of kung kelan ba mas ok? Baby or teen is forever going to be matter of preference, but definitely one thing we dads can agree on is that our sons will not belong to that 7% of Filipino men na tatandang supot.

    Agree ba kayo Dads? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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