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Tuli a rite of passage for Filipino boys

May 6, 2011 12:50am
Jonjon, 11, is the butt of his friends' jokes because he has yet to be circumcised. Circumcision or tuli has long been considered a rite of passage for Filipino boys, which is why this summer Jonjon is determined to go through the process — if only to stop his friends from making fun of him.

GMA News’ “State of the Nation" reported that Jiggy Manikad trailed two boys, Jonjon and Janjan, who went through the Filipino rite of passage this summer.

According to the report, 93 percent of Filipino males are circumcised, a rate much higher than for the rest of world — the World Health Organization reports that only 30 percent to 33 percent of men aged 15 and above are circumcised.




Many Filipinos still go to the traditional albularyo for tuli. “Ang masakit lang naman diyan ang pagtusok ng patalim pero pag-pinukpok ‘yan, wala na," said Allan Velasquez, an albularyo who performs tuli.

Nine-year-old Janjan, meanwhile, opted to have his operation at the Manila Doctor’s Hospital.

“Ayaw ko ng pukpok. Nakakatakot na makita mong naputol ‘yung dulo," said his grandmother.

When asked about how he felt after being circumcised, Janjan’s face lit up. “Masaya," he said. “Tuli na ako, eh." Bea Cupin/VS, GMA News



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