The Sorry State of Pinoy Lovelife I: Demanding Romantic Dole-Outs

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.)

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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.”

Are you crying now?

Are you crying now?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?

18 Replies to “The Sorry State of Pinoy Lovelife I: Demanding Romantic Dole-Outs”

    1. I don’t give a fcuk and I don’t need to know and I don’t care on how Failipinos fall in love. Why Filipinos deliberatly make themselves depress by listening depressing music? Are Filipino some kind of EMO freaks? I REALLY DONT GET IT..

  1. a pretty accurate assessment of what I have seen in the country when it comes to ‘love’, ‘dating’ etc, and it is all pretty PATHETIC.
    In the USA their is a woman called ‘Oprah’ who offers advice on everything from how a female is supposed to wipe (“Front to back ladies”..) herself to how one should use their moral compass for the ‘good of humanity’. It seems that much of what is suppossed to be taught to youngsters by concerned parents has been replaced by the ‘idiot-box’ personalities of the country, no matter what country your in. It is sad that people take advice from such a thing as the ‘idiot-box’ because it has been scientifically proven that when turned on, and a child sits too close to one of them as over the long term it cause’s the equivalent of an ‘electro-magnetic lobotomy’/brain death. The Philippines has an epidemic of this but is far from being alone in this department.

    1. I hate Western type of love. But I also hate filipino type of love. Both are trying to be pa-modern and immature. Back then, people’s concept of love is more of love for the greater good- for family and the rest of community: AGAPE. Eros type is like at the bottom. Now that immaturity runs amok and emotions are more important than the mind, you get these all distorted.

      I guess this is perhaps why I still have more respect for Muslims in this aspect. I have friends who are even more mature and more responsible- practical and no bull crap to them, because their lives aren’t run by dictates of the heart. It comes with a lot of sensibility, too.

      P.S. I hate it when people say crap about Muslims. You watch too much rubbish TV to even realise that there are many more out here who are just as human as we are. Stop villifying people you don’t even know or care much to know who they are. Sorry if this post is very O.T.

  2. It’s not necessarily pathetic, but people should just know that what we see on TV, hear from music, and read about love and romance are mostly bullshit that never happens in real life – or at least happens, but it rarely has the intended consequences.

    Plus, there’s a danger of being consumed by these false realities created by the media, as well as sentimentality getting in the way of everything else in life, to the point when it becomes a burden.

    There’s so much clamor for “romantic love”, yet so little love given to everyone else around them, as we, like the media we watch, portray people as roles in some romantic drama, and judge them accordingly. We see ourselves as main characters, friends as supporting characters, and anyone getting in the way of your romantic life as “kontrabidas”. We don’t even realize that the other person see the world the same way, even the “villains” in our lives.

    1. Why? So we can have a false sense of pride? Have you even read George Carlin? He said that being proud of being Irish is no different from being proud to have a predisposition for colon cancer. I think that draws heavy parallels to Pinoy pride as well. No thank you, Mr. Proud Pinoy. Pride is something that has to be earned, not inherited.

      1. George Carlin? haha. That’s a comedian. Not a scholar. Try scholars for a change. TV personalities of all sorts are plain rubbish. This is why even America is the way it is now. Society run amok by ME, ME mentality- with greed as the drive- and from there, you throw out morally responsible families, you go by how you feel (sheesh, even these so-called ‘smarts’ in TV, aren’t really that smart at all- they’re still paid more for their crap than say behind-the-scenes, hardworking, working class folks).

        And the problem with filipinos is that we try to emulate the trashy Western image we always see everyday. Why can’t they even flash in TV other foreign cultural programs than American ones? Oh wait, even they, too are getting poisoned by their ilk.

        1. Christy, you know better that scholarly degrees (or lack thereof) do not measure wisdom.

    2. I have nothing against Francis M as an artist. But this is just one of his more idiotic raps, that the likes of proud pinoy just loves oh so much.

      And also add to that Pinoy Ako by Bamboo.

      1. I like Bamboo’s voice. Don’t care for the lyrics. It’s pretty shallow for anyone to measure intelligence by what music they listen to, or show they watch. I’ve gotta classmate doing law who even listens to KPOP (and I even find this sort of music more brainless and unbearable than our own crap).

        What I do care about is the reinforcement of society to go immature by how they conduct themselves in school, in their respective workplaces- and in families. And because such no longer feed the young ones a sense of responsibility, they all just want to leave it to trash media to do all the teaching and acquiring ‘knowledge’.

        1. Well, there is really nothing wrong with listening to dumb music per se, as you said, not a measure of intelligience. I agree. Music are not meant to be listened to in the same way, as an example, you wont listen to Groove Armada, like you you would listen to Counting Crows or Bob Dylan. The earlier is just some sort of filler while, having a pint, talking to friends The latter, you listen to while you’re alone driving couple of hundred kilometers at night till dawn. But the point is, Pinoys just cant tell one from the other. That is why, dumb song can make them dumb. Ocho-ocho, spaghetti pataas at pababa. Same goes with noon time shows. hahaha

    3. So if flips listen to that kind of music will it improve something? I mean Im sure flips have been listening to that kind of music all their lives. But flips are still as gong-gong as ever.

    4. You can sing to it all day long for every hour , every day, every month and every year but at the end of the day nothing happens. 😀

      Are you doing it right now? or are you telling people what to do? 😀 Enlighten us please.

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