One typical Pinoy comes across romantic themes wherever he goes on a normal day. One smoky ride in a jeepney is good for listening to a rap song or two–about some totoy rapper promising to a girl’s father that he will be a good prince to his princess.
If your heart’s taken away by these songs, then I guess it’s cute. Take my joyride, for example (sarcasm intended). The driver has been playing Abra for some twenty minutes, and guess what: the thuggish dispatcher by my side asks for my cell phone number!
Radios turned on in buses and FXs (taxis for multiple passengers) will also generate the same effect. The drivers tune in to EZ Rock or Love Radio, and before long, they will play something sentimental, like “Minsan lang kita iibigin” (I will love you just on occasion) or “Nakikiusap ako sa iyo, magmahal ka na lang ng iba” (I beg you, just love someone else.)
|SUPPORT INDEPENDENT SOCIAL COMMENTARY!|
Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us daily.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Is that the case? This is my cue to put in my head phones and listen to something more upbeat, like Iridescent, The World is Not Enough, Diamonds are Forever, and White and Nerdy.
We all also have these friends on social media posting sappy statuses about many aspects of romance, such as friendzones and frustrations about their partners’ lack of appreciation for them. There are these nature-themed classics. “Silence is a girl’s loudest cry.” or “If someone is important to you, you make the time. No lies. No excuses.”
Of course they will not forget showbiz stories of new romances, breakups, and… sexual escapades. I know lust doesn’t correlate favorably to love, but I wonder if many Pinoys can still make that distinction.
I can go on forever to describe how romance, locally better-known as lovelife, makes up so much of a Pinoy’s intellectual staple. But you see my point now.
So romance is a kanin to da Pinoy utak diet? So what?
I can’t help but admit that I issue scoffs on these people’s…romantic helplessness. Listen to a typical Pinoy love song. What do you hear? “Sa tuwina’y maalala ka… Wala nang pipiliin pang iba…” (Every time I remember you… I will not choose anyone else anymore…) “Binigay ko ang lahat…” (I gave everything…) Isn’t there a song that sounds as good as “You’re free to leave me but just don’t deceive me…?” Wala. All I hear is helplessness. The ratio of an assertive Filipino love song to an obsessed, poor-me one is 0.0000-whatever to ten.
Then again, don’t Pinoys think they’re helpless with their circumstances in general?
So that’s the thing with many Pinoys in love: They fill their heads with it. Then when they’re in love, bigay-lahat, then pity-me-because-di-niya-ako-naa-appreciate mindset. They rationalize their unrequited love with the steadfastness of their affections and the investment they made on their “selfish” partner. Though they threaten with quotes like “People get tired” and “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone,” they cling on. Then they demand justice on their broken hearts. Up and front. Talking things out.
On a political perspective, don’t they treat their politicians that way too?
Why else would Pinoys remain losers in romance, when they lap up all that horrible advice in mainstream media? They watch telenovelas, and what do they learn? They put on make-up, buy trending clothes, rub facial creams. Granted, beauty does equate to neatness at some level, and so they date. When things don’t go so well, what’s the telenovela advice? Confront your partner, shout at him, hit her, or weep; beg for their appreciation. Suspect that there is a third party? Corner the suspect, talk to them condescendingly, and then tug each others’ hair.
Or play the victim, and then hope that fate or God will vindicate the legitimacy of your affections. Someday.
These Pinoys do as the mainstream media says, add that with donning make-up, buying fancy clothes, hitting the gym, spending their baon on dermatologists, and then Sherry Argov observes, “They wonder why relationships don’t go forward.”
So what do they do, then? Many Pinoys, afflicted with this romantic butt-hurt, seek advice from figures like Papa Jack or Ramon Bautista, or their friends–or both. But thanks to all that simplistic advice they take from each other and from these gurus of romancing, they neglect/misinterpret the following fundamentals:
- Successful romance enters the life of a person if and only if the person does not come across as someone who needs it. — Mainstream media, obviously, conditions the Filipino mind to be on the watch for their next Prince Charming or the next Ms. Right. You hear things like, “Gusto ko mabait, maganda, gwapo, tapos simple lang.” (I want [someone] who is kind, cute, and simple). It’s all about, “Gusto ko ganito, gusto ko ganyan.” (I want this, I want that). No matter how poetic they proclaim, “Aalagaan kita,” (I’ll take care of you) deep inside, there’s this vested interest that they expect to be reciprocated. The dynamic goes: they give everything, then they beg because they have nothing to offer anymore. I call it romantic mendicancy.To note, don’t Pinoys adopt the mindset of mendicancy on practically everything they could’ve acquired for themselves? Dole-outs? Relief goods? I guess the contagion has spread on their love lives as well.
- Successful romance begins (and restarts) when participants acquire by themselves what they thought they need to get from their partners. — So a typical Pinoy looks for someone who is mabait, cute, and simple. Yeah, sure, there’s nothing wrong with defining the person of one’s dreams. But to think about looking for the right person to cater to their emotional needs most of the time–it places too much responsibility on the Prince Charming or Miss Beautiful–and too little emphasis on one’s own character development. This mindset is very much like Pinoy Pride–crediting your genetics for someone else’s successes.Another way to see how Pinoys violate this fundamental is to observe their attitude towards work. Here the mindset of mendicancy is at work again. They think they are entitled to a caring treatment by the government, and then they throw monumental tantrums such as EDSA People Powers and Flying Ginebra bottles when their shanties get mowed down and their beloved politicians are revealed corrupt.
- Successful romances depend largely on the efficiency of the pursuer’s efforts — Efficiency, I emphasize. Effort doesn’t necessarily equate to success, contrary to what we are led to believe. All our lives, Pinoy society gloats over the virtues of hard work. We have been taught, “If they think you aren’t doing well, then try harder.” This is why many women still dote over drunk, philandering, and gambling partners. They cook better meals, don laundry with perfumed fabric conditioner, press clothes to have razor-sharp creases; thinking that they’d win back their men this way because mistresses aren’t so good in domestic stuff as they are–another teleserye lie.
So I suppose that covers my point: Pinoys in love are as needy and insecure in their love lives as much as they are needy and insecure over everything else. They think the only way to get what they want is to offer everything; then they pray, ask, and beg for reciprocation. Just one curious question: Did their sorry scarcity mindset on their need for relief goods, free hospitalization, etc. actually got into their love life mantra as well? Or that they practically had nothing to offer in love, so they beg for love?
You can’t treat people like shit because your religion says to, then expect them to love you.