I have a confession to make: There are times I refuse to give breast milk to Rio. I tell him, “Anak, wala pang gatas si Nanay”. I encourage him to drink fresh milk or have a light snack instead. The truth is I have milk but I am reserving it for our sleeping time sessions. My milk oversupply period is over and I turn to this strategy so I can still breastfeed him in-between meals.
This doesn’t work for Rio, all the time. At 22 months, he knows, asserts and practices his right to food or to be exact – his right to breast milk. Why do I have to wait until bedtime when my food is just kept in my nanay’s breasts? And so, he jumps over me, pulls my shirt up and latches tightly and feeds on my helpless breasts. Tagumpay si Rio!
When I read about the Pablo survivors who stormed the DSWD satellite office in Davao to assert the immediate distribution of the relief goods they badly need, I remember how Rio behaves when he’s hungry and asserts to be breastfed despite my refusal. I understand why the people stormed and claimed the goods they believe are rightfully theirs. It has been three months since typhoon Pablo devastated their lives. They are not only hungry people, but are dying. They have no food, houses and jobs. If a toddler knows how to force his way to his mother’s breast for milk, what more can you expect from people who were deprived of help and decent food for months.
I have to give in to Rio’s just demand. “Heto na anak, dede ka na.” DSWD Sec. Dinky Soliman’s immediate response to file charges against the typhoon victims instead of releasing the rice and relief goods was shocking and disturbing as well. The people need food to eat but all they got were charges and accusations from the government.
Failure to submit the list of beneficiaries is not reason to delay the release of the relief goods.For my part, I refuse to give breast milk to Rio because I wrongly reserve it for his bedtime feeding session. Are they reserving the goods for the local campaign period this March? Whatever their reasons are, it’s still wrong and unacceptable to keep the people waiting and let them die of hunger.
As a final note to myself: Listen to Rio’s demands. If he wants dede, give him dede. I learned my lesson and as a mother herself and government official, Sec. Dinky I hope will listen to the just demands of the people too.
I also realized that Rio and the Pablo survivors who stormed the DSWD office have something in common. They know how to assert and fight for their rights. Just demands bravely and patiently fought for always succeed in the end.