carefully posed “couple” picture. We were actually harassed and stressed at the time.
(Note : thanks for indulging me with the longish title, and thanks Glenda Laserna for reminding me. 🙂 Happy birthday Karen Hulleza-Luna and Spencer Tee!)
As it’s recently been the day of hearts, love and relationships, we’re putting on our relationship analyst hat, being eminently qualified with the requisite number of relationships (each one I’m grateful for), number of heartbreaks (most of which I’ve survived) and mental state (as the sign on the door sez, quietly going crazy in an outwardly sane world, kaw rin no). Now dear Precious Reader, whether or not you’re crazy enough take the pieces of advice below is entirely up to you, caveat emptor.
Love is universal. Kabayan like you and me (and everyone else) are sensible enough to avoid the conceit that Pinoys and the way they love are unique, with a few minor exceptions, love across homo sapiens sapiens is consistent, predictable and, given a uniform set of facts or situation, will produce a uniform outcome.
But Pinoys are worth mentioning that we blend the traditional with the modern, the religious with the secular, the zealot with the infidel, the parochial with the cosmopolitan. We cannot be a cookie-cutter, love-is-love and happily-ever-after love culture. We have to have our teleserye complications, twists and turns, conflicted inner and outer conflicts and wishy-washy crazy-love lunacy that defines Pinoy love. (Obvious ba na love-scarred ang inyong blogger? :p )
In a relationship, Pinoys are self-centered, Pinays like to be indulged. Notice I didn’t say selfish, there’s a difference. The reality in a relationship is, Pinoys like to think in terms of me all time, a result of history, culture and gender. What is my breakfast? Is my underwear ready? Am I going to do the nasty tonight? And so on and so forth. Now, see how his counterpart thinks: What breakfast will I prepare? Have I fresh underwear for him? Is he gonna ask me to do the nasty tonight? Whether or not you are comfortable with this or want to tweak the relationship somewhat is entirely up to you, but in a nutshell, that’s the template.
Conversely, in return for all this me-me-me preoccupation with themselves, Pinoys acknowledge that recognition, respect, tributes (meaning gifts), especially faithfulness and loyalty, and we’re-not-worthy posturing should regularly be paid to their girlfriends-spouses-partners. It’s just part of the equation, without which there would be serious imbalance to the relationship.
Frequent hugs and kisses. Oh-I’m-the-luckiest-man-alive! exclamations. Gifts and presents for no reason at all. Complete surrender of the finance and budget portfolio to the missus. These are just part-and-parcel of the philosophy of, in return for treating you like a king, treating your woman like the princess that she is. Good bargain, if you ask me.
Holding your tongue at any and all times, especially when it concerns the following : Her appearance, specifically her figure, her pretty face, and how she perceives herself. The standard response may vary (a vigorous yes, regurgitating whatever self-opinion she has of herself, artfully rephrasing what you know is her self-image), but the simple formula is : absolutely yes, you are 100% percent correct, my dear. There is no deviation from this timeless formula. Stay the course and relationship success is assured. Stray from this winning solution at your peril. Nuff said.
Acknowledging the sacred cows of the relationship. with some Pinoys it’s family. With others it’s religion. With still others it’s a combination of the two, children of a previous relationship, politics, what-have-you. Whatever, it’s a quirk of Filipinos that our very strong family ties, Roman Catholic upbringing, regionalism, etc etc etc will frequently impose themselves at some point on the relationship.
Rather than push back, resist or fight centuries-old institutions that will not easily go away, methinks it would be best to be like the bamboo and bend with the wind, not break and in the process thrive on the chaos. Admit that sometimes, relationships take second place. Go through the motions of following Catholic practices (I will probably burn in hell for this). And if your Pinay sez Ilokano is better than Tagalog, or Bisaya is better than Waray, just nod along, who knows who is correct, in the ultimate scheme of things?
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It sounds simplistic, but many, many relationships I have seen and experienced have survived on knowing these simple truths. It doesn’t matter if only one or both are Pinoy and / or Pinay. It works. Not all the time, but it works.
Happy Relationship or Freedom from Relationship Day everyone!