Monday, March 05, 2007

Letter to Boo Chanco

Sir:

Like you, I was surprised to read of Rosalie Cabinan, the woman from Baseco with 14 children. But where you find cause for chagrin, I find cause for awe. Bearing, birthing, and breeding 14 children is quite a feat, don't you think?

Granted, Ms. Cabinan may not fit your vision of responsible parenthood, but you haven't asked the essential question: is she happy? The answer to that, I'm afraid, we cannot divine from numbers alone.

One can have a baby by accident. Or two babies. Or even three. But when you have fourteen children (not counting the four who died), they cannot all be accidents. In an article in The Economist some years back, it was said that poorer families tend to have more children as a form of social security. That may be what is at work here.

Regardless, would you be able to tell Ms. Cabinan that she could have had Abigail, Berting, and Caloy but she shouldn't have had Dexter, Edith, Frances, Gary, Helen, Ida, Jane, Kristine, Leonor, Maria, and Baby Nora? Against that Iron Woman, not I!