Operation Tuli (Circumcision) 2015
Tulì is a Filipino rite of male circumcision. It has a long historical tradition and is considered a rite of passage; boys who have not undergone the ritual are labelled supót and face ridicule from their peers.
Circumcision is not considered a religious rite as some four-fifths of Filipinos profess Roman Catholicism, which does not require it. A theory posits that the prevalence of the practise is due to the influence of Islam, which was prevalent in parts of the archipelago at least 200 years before the arrival of Christianity in the 16th century.
More affluent parents opt to have their children circumcised as neonates in hospital, but the majority prefer that their sons undergo the tradition at around 5–7 years of age. Boys of the same age group would either go to government-sponsored missions, hospitals, or to a local circumciser.
The Philippines Department of Health meanwhile sponsors an annual Operation Tuli project to circumcise boys; others assist and provide the service for free.
The traditional circumciser would tell the patient to chew guava leaves and then simply cut off the foreskin of the boy with a sharp knife. The boy is then to wash off in the cold waters of a nearby river and to apply the masticated guava leaves as a poultice on the wound.
Newly circumcised boys usually wear housedresses or loose skirts to help in the healing. The swelling that might occur during this period is termed pangángamatis (literally, "becoming like a tomato", kamatis) owing to the reddish appearance of the penis.
The rite has been the subject of the award-winning film Tuli by Auraeus Solito.
Note: The annual activity was sponsored by Sacred Heart School-Alumni Batch 1990.
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