Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Macho I Love Yous

[Note: I wrote this piece in May 2002 which got published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s YOUNGBLOOD section and several other publications.This is also my entry to the Filipina Writing Project]

This is for all the Filipinas who have never been kissed, never been touched, no boyfriends, nothing. This is for all the Filipinas accused of having hearts of stone. They include the mahirap maabot (those who are hard-to-get) and the mahilig magpakipot (those who pretend they don’t like a guy but they really do). You secretly delight in men’s existence because they make you feel so special, don’t you? You’re just too proud to admit it! Don’t fret, I am not going to expose your boring love lives. I am not that cruel. I am here to warn you ice queens of the new millennium who have hearts that are whole… still. Don’t succumb to the charms of the typical macho Filipino!

Tell me honestly, who wants a boyfriend who calls females “chicks”? A boyfriend who thinks he is complimenting you by saying you should join a beauty contest because "sayang ang beauty mo"? (Your beauty’s a waste if it isn’t displayed) A boyfriend who asks you every hour where you are and tells you what to wear? A boyfriend who reacts in disbelief, nay, contempt, upon the discovery that “his” girl carried a 20-kilo backpack up Mount Apo or that “his” girl is a black belter in Taekwondo? A boyfriend who insists on paying the bill even if you were the one who asked him out? Worse, a boyfriend who reeks of San Miguel and Marlboro because he can’t live without them?

Ladies, meet the typical macho Filipino who always wants to be stronger, bigger, faster, smarter, taller and older. He is such a pretentious prick on the outside but inside he can be like delicious jelly (sometimes). He doesn’t mind looking foolish slugging your tiny black Gucci bag. (Isn’t that cute?) In a country where PDA (public display of affection) is still largely frowned upon, carrying a girl’s bag is the ultimate gesture of possession. We don’t need to witness couples exchanging sticky French kisses to understand that.

The typical macho Filipino opens doors for you like a real gentleman (uh, security g
uard). He lets you take your seat first in a crowded jeepney and tingles in the anticipation of your shoulder touching his, your hand on his knees, your hair brushing his face and what else. He steals kisses in the dark but never in school, at the market or in church, and especially not in front of your parents. He purposefully walks on the left side of the road, and if you don’t mind, with a protective arm around you to prevent you from being run over by traffic.

The typical macho Filipino is also very creative, (to a certain extent). He scrounges the Internet for poems he doesn’t even understand himself. These he incorporates in mushy love letters that he secretly inserts in your books when you aren’t looking. They are declarations of love he nonchalantly claims to be the author of for he doesn’t k
now that plagiarism is a crime. It is not very unique but the effort is impressive. (What did you expect? A picnic on the moon?)

To impress you some more, he sends you text messages quoted from Pablo Neruda: “I want 2 eat ur lips lyk a pis of almond!” Or, “I dnt knw any odr way of lovin u bt dis. One n w/c der s no I or U. It s so intimate dat ur hand upon my chest s my hand, dat wen I fal aslip, it s ur eyes dat clos.” Pardon my poor translation but Spanish is so much more romantic. Who wouldn’t swoon over someone who calls you his “amanda mia”? (my love) But when you ask him to translate two simple sentences, he doesn’t reply! The farce!

Did you know that Filipinos, aside from the French and the Italians, are one of
the world’s biggest “I-love-you-ers”? It’s just hearsay about the other nationalities but gosh, Filipinos do like to say “I love you” a lot. Ask any girl. The expression has become so over-used that it has almost become a cliché.

I hate to shatter your illusions, but guys? Most of the time, they only mean half of what they say. Good thing we Filipinas are smarter and won’t fall for their gibberish. Remember, God created Eve because she felt that Adam was too dull. And, it is a fact that females live longer (need I elaborate?).

Lately I have been going to Venue a lot to accompany a kababata (childhood f
riend) from Holland who is here to learn Filipino. Also called the Netherlands, Holland is that tiny tulip and cheese country lying perilously below sea level and protected by a complicated network of dikes and dams. It is the country of marijuana, homosexual marriages and euthanasia, moralists like to jest. It is also the country of the lowest abortion rate, by the way.

My kababata who has been immersed in Filipino culture for one month now, says that in more liberated Holland, it takes at least a year before a guy tells a girl that he loves her. Sure, just like in the movies, they think nothing of necking and petting and torrid kissing and sex. But who would have thought that those are only the prerequisites to saying “I love you” (according to my friend)? Strange people, the Dutch.

Here, it is baliktad (different). Guys think they have to say “I love you” over and over again. (That is sooo important. Makes me think of Destiny Child’s “Brown Eyes”: “I know that he loves me ‘cause he told me so…”) Then there is the list of things he feels he has to do. He showers her with gifts of perfume, imported chocolates and jewelry (can’t he be more original?). He takes her out on expensive dinners in De Bonte Koe, Mount Fuji, or Picobello (with his parents’ money of course). He fetches her and brings her to wherever she wants (except his room). Guys, don’t assume that by giving her three red roses a week, she’ll be yours to keep.

Courtship? Relationships? You could call it a test. Only when the Filipina is sure of his everlasting love will she take the risk of doing “it” with him. The problem is that in his excitement and haste, he forgets to use protection. Nine months later…oops! As Drew Barrymore thoughtfully puts it in “Riding in Cars with Boys,”: “Life is really just a couple of days which determines the rest of it.”

Back to the original point of this discussion. While Filipino men find it easy to say, “I love you,” the Dutch dread it. They avoid it like the plague. Uttering those three words is like proposing marriage, my friend explains. In Holland, guys fear the pain of rejection that’s why when he likes you he just says so. “I really, really like you. I want to be with you. ‘I love you’ is such a big word,” she says.

How true. Just because we are pretty, beautiful, gorgeous and stunning don’t mean that you can tell us “I love you” and then expect us to love you in return. How can you say that when you don’t even know how we like to drink our coffee? How can you say that when you don’t even know our dreams, our insecurities or what makes us laugh and cry? You probably love us just because we look sexy in high heels and minis. Just because we look cute when we flash that Close Up smile. Just because others desire us!

All this talk about males and their pathetic attempts at romance makes me want to write something about typical Filipinas. For starters, I will write about Filipinas like myself who won’t say, “I love you,” when by “love” I mean, “I love the full moon” or, “I love Jollibee.” When I say “I love you,” I will really mean it. And, it won’t be just an ordinary “I love you.”

No, no more macho I love yous.

28 comments:

janettetoral.com said...

Hi Maya. Kindly edit your blog post and include a link to the Filipina writing project at http://w3o.blogspot.com/2007/07/filipina-seo-keyword-campaign.html

Once done, will include your entry in our summary this Saturday. Thank you.

janettetoral.com said...

Thanks for adding the writing project link. Will include your entry for our summary this Saturday. Cheers!

Peppermint Streak said...

hahaha. tama jud ning mga charchar sa male filipinos. that's why i don't say i love you too often (mga thrice a year lang gani! haha) coz i don't want it to lose meaning..:)

grabe feeling macho jud na sila. when i open the door and enter the room before a man does, he says "why didn't you tell me yourself? you could've asked me." duh, as if i cannot.open.a.door

cheska said...

i don't have to register na pala. hehe

great post maya! i don't usually read long blogs but i just couldn't take my eyes of this one. haha :) i so agree and i was smiling while reading a couple of lines (prolly coz i can relate wuahaha!)

here's a question, though: how can you tell if you're already in love and that it's not infatuation? charing :D haha

payatnabata said...

Hi maya!

hahahahahahahaha. . .surprise surprise!!

i dont belong to the typical Filipino guy. . ^___^

Peter Chen said...

Hi Maya,

Thanks for the surprise visit to my environmental blog and for your comment in my post Haloween costumes and the environment. I have responded to your comment.

Peter Blog*Star
Blogger Tips and Tricks

Bam the Great said...

Haha! Tama. Anti-feminist in some way. Pero may mga iba na gusto rin yun. Kasi gentleman daw ang dating. Some girls are fretting rin kapag hindi sila inaalalayan ng mga bf nila. Hahay.

Ang gulo ng mundo. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Maya,

I like your ideas, your brave statements. You're a woman with a "voice". Hehehe! Indeed you are.

But you're too biased, too one - sided. Your article just serves the interests of Filipinas. It puts the typical Filipino man into the disadvantaged/marginalized position. You're so cruel. Hehehe! Be a bit critical in your writing. It maybe a feministic writing but I think "intelligent, refined feminism" is not like that.

Am sorry. It's what I feel. Am true to myself, my reaction.

I think we need to take a little glimpse to "responsible journalism". We may have freedom of expression but we need not be free at all. . . Hehehe...

ingatz,
nimrod

Goldelino said...

Filipinas are as quick to say "I love you" as Filipinos so I doubt if it is a macho thing. It's maybe simply Filipinist (there, I avoided saying Filipino when referring to both female and male).
Men wonder too what women mean by that. And always there's that question - Does she expect I'll say "I love you too"?

maya flaminda said...

Peppermint, your comment reminds me of when i was in elementary and the teacher always let the boys clean the blackboard. As if we girls were to weak to handle some measly eraser! Cheska, im not so sure about your question... Love (is rational) and infatuation (is irrational?) Beats me. Nimrod, you're so obvious! natamaan ka!hahaha! admit it! :P Goldie, i agree with you! "i love you" is so relative.

Maya said...

Payatnabata, you're not macho? Oh, cmon! Haven't you had ten girlfriends already? :P Bam, which type of girl are you?

Danny said...

We say "i love you" because we feel like telling the girl "i love you"... for me, it's a simple endearment. In addition to holding the door open for her, giving her flowers when we feel like it, paying for the bill, and many other ways to show our affection, saying "i love you" shouldn't really be a complicated thing, should it? :)

Ronald said...

hi maya! it took me a certain amount of time to compose my thoughts on what to comment. he he he...

i can't imagine how far you've come writing these wonderful articles since the time you wrote an article about how our p.e subject in high school is being handled.

what i can say for now after reading this piece for the tenth time is, "you make me want to be a better man" (from As Good As It Gets").

Anonymous said...

hi maya!!
because you said so... jejejeje! ur correct i can relate :-) way to go girl buti ka pa napapractice mo talaga writing mo.. goodluck!

Anonymous said...

Hi Maya,sa tingin ko ang pag sabi ng I love you ay parang nakasanayan na kc ng nga pinoy.Kapag nag I love you ka sa babae na nililigawan mo at nag I love you too sya ito ang senyales na may relasyon na kayo kc pag sinabi mo na I like you parang maraming ibig sabihin ng I like you.Pero pag tumagal na ng ilang buwan ang relasyon nyo na babawasan na ang pag sabi ng I love you.Hehe!
Jayvee

jasper said...

Call me backward, but i still do want my men (and i mean it to be in the plural)to pick the tab, open doors for me, protect me, think of me before himself, and say I love as many times as he wants (as long as it's to me!). These are things I would gladly do for him, too. But that's me. Others may think different. Romance I insist is defined by the people involved, whether you're in fear of being swamped by the sea in Holland or in fear of heatstroke in the Philippines. Love, on the otherhand is a different matter. Saying it many times may not make it true, the fact though that one does say it means it may be or could become true. After all is said and done, I believe "Love" should be "said and done". Many times over.
I'm confused though, Filipina ba ako? Or Filipino? Maybe Goldie's term might be more apt for me - Filipinist. Hahahaha! :-)

jasper

Anonymous said...

ahahahha...why is my husband here ha maya???malakas ka cguro sa kanya at napa comment mo siya...ako nga i have to beg one am happy reading your blogs...i also see your blog tones are kinda serious konti na lang nga and you can shake that off...just continue blogging and blogging ....end

Anonymous said...

i am happy with maya's blog tone.

Anonymous said...

Maya...i agree with you in a way.its how our society dictates eh..sometimes its becoming a norm..experience wise..i would want to be independent no!emotionally and physically.but the i love you thing?hmmmm good to hear jud na..guys who are presko and dating dali lang yan magsabi ng i love you even if they dont mean it..girls, fools rush in especially if they like a certain guy!kever najud na kay love is blind kuno!wish ko lang...i pity those sa mga na carried away hehehe! maya, ang uso ngaun pag magdate chip in na: split the expenses into two.mas ok yan sakin!keep it up girl!erikka

fran said...

heheh this is my all time favorite..brings back good old memories....spending long hours of tambay at the Finance office just to observe typical macho filipinos in the campus...bwahaha

ur so good in this craft May!!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Loving oneself is the only enduring thing in love.People will respect and love you back for what or who you are if you do the same to yourself..(Proof: refer to Newton's action-reaction law).However, if still they don't, (then Newton's principle s thus a BIG mistake!jst jokin..haha)well...you only have yourself and your beliefs to hang on to. :-)

dhel said...

ei... i always do say I LOVE YOUS to may girl-friends.,.. hmm...

for A change... I LOVE YOUS naman for my boy-friends,,, hmmm... masumbagan cguro ko... wahahahah

btw... nice post... can relate xuper...

i have friend... in the other way around his gurlfriend always post a note to his book..." MAGSABI K NMN NG I LOVE YOU>>> mwah...." kakatawa... kasi nmn hndi xa mahilig magsabi ng i love yous...


hehehehehhehehe.....

Jade said...

wow!!! hahaha.. but as far as i can remember, i never allowed them to carry my shoulder bag (even if they insist).. i was the one who carried their heavy things.. and even opened doors for them..lol.. jk..

but now, im so glad to hear real i love yous from a real man.. and even if he's not a Filipino, he's so sweet, expressive and he opens door for me (hehehe) and i allow him to do it.. but i still wont let him carry my shoulder bag.. hahaha

NICE BLOG MAYA!!!

Ryan Donlon said...

A person's actions are far more important than anything they say...If you can't distinguish a "real" man from a "fake" man..then you need to grow up some more...As far as I am concerned..I dont feel bad about telling my pangga "Mahal Kita" as much as I can..because I mean it each time!

shyshy said...

hehe...i was reflecting about my current relationship the whole time i was reading your blog! hahahaha!!

your article made me appreciate my boyfriend more...

reading it was truly worthwhile!!

cyah round may, kini diay imong ginaka-busihan karon. :)

Anonymous said...

Kung si Karl Marx ay may "The Communist Manifesto", si Maya naman, may "The (Bitter) Filipina Manifesto". Tsk Tsk..Well, we can't blame her. Karapatan nya un..Poetic License ba.hehehe

Anonymous said...

i hope all girls thinks what you beilive ma'am.
sa totoo lang, kung kami mga lalake would not open the door before you girls tatawagin nyo kaming bastos o hindi gentleman.
nasa mentality kase ng mga filipina na DAPAT kaming lalake ang gagastos. marami akong kakilalang babae na ganyan ang mentality. nakakaubos ng allowance! hehehe