The reason why I love the TV show Modern Family so much is because it wasn’t afraid to tackle real life family issues.
The first family (left) is about a super hot Colombian mother who falls in love with a guy who is way older than her. The second family (middle) is the “normal-from-the-outside-chaotic-from-the-inside” family, which reminds me a lot of my own. The third family (right) is about a gay couple who adopts their first child.
Of course some of the themes and humor are not for younger audiences so lucky for them young ones, there’s now a local children’s storybook that discusses unconventional set ups.
I’m proud to present to you the 2006 First Prize awardee in the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, Ang Ikaklit sa Aming Hardin written by Bernadette Villanueva Neri and illustrated by my friend CJ de Silva.
Maraming anyo ang pamilya. Tulad ng mga bulaklak sa isang halamanan, mayroon itong iba’t ibang itsura, kulay, bango, at laki. Sapagkat ang anumang uri ng pagsasamang nakasandig sa pag-ibig ay dapat kilalanin bilang pamilya. Isa rito ang kuwento ni Ikaklit. Bagaman iba sa trasdisyunal, maituturing na pamilya ang samahang bumibigkis sa kaniya at sa dalawa niyang ina.
CJ first encountered this short story as an assigned reading in her Panitikang Pilipino 19 (Sexuality in Philippine Literature) class in UP Diliman last 2007. Her professor mentioned that the story got rejected by mainstream publications for its homosexual theme. CJ looked for the writer and presented to illustrate for free, as long as they could publish and share it to the world. They worked on it for a year and they just launched it last September 13th.
I asked where the book was available and I was told that most bookstores and publishers have rejected the book because of its homosexual theme. How heartbreaking is that?
I think it’s important for children to be aware of people who are not exactly like them so they can grow up to be open-minded and respectful of others’ beliefs. It’s a good gift idea especially for those who are just starting a family!
For now, Ang Ikaklit sa Aming Hardin is available at the UP Faculty Center or you may send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and they’ll ship it to you.