Sunday, May 17, 2009

What Every Filipino Boy Should Know About Filipino Women

What have you been told about Filipino women? And how do you see Filipino women today? Is there congruence?

Well, I'm 40, and I do have my own share of these derived impressions about Filipino women.

But there was one thing my father said when I was around ten that I could never forget. He said, and these were the exact words, "Women are strong. In fact, women are sometimes stronger than men."

That didn't make any sense to me then. But having heard it from my own father, I could not just dismiss it. Thirty years later, that conversation came to my mind again.
Illustration of Malakas and Maganda, the first man and woman of Philippine folklore, awakened and emerging from a split giant bamboo.
Illustration of Malakas and Maganda. The first man and woman in
Philippine folklore, came out from a giant bamboo.
Now I guess I have a fair idea of what my father was referring to, and I'll spill two of them for you today:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ten Little Known Ways to Bond With Your Boys (Despite Your Busy Schedule)

When you're busy, it can be tough to bond with your kids, especially your boys, in their early years. When we arrive home we're tired and we just want to eat, rest and sleep. With whatever time we have at home outside of eating and sleeping, there are other stuff we need to do as well: bond with your wife, fix the plumbing, install a frame, etc.

So, how on earth can we bond well with our boys who model us (whether we like it or not)?

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="This is what my son did with his lego pieces one day. I'm proud of it, and he knows it. This photo is the evidence of that. This photo is our bond."]This is what my son did with his lego pieces one day. Im proud of it, and he knows it. This photo is the evidence of that. This photo is our bond.[/caption]

Taken largely from my own experience (and I hope you share yours too here), let me share some of the ways I bond with my five-year old son:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

If You Don't Send This to the Mother of the House, You'll Hate Yourself

It was Mother's Day last Sunday, May 10.

How many of us remembered? How many of us greeted the mother of our sons that day?

Interestingly, thanks to the wonders of the internet, there's one more way of greeting our wives and mothers on Mother's Day.

Click on the image below.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="490" caption="Snapshot of "Breaking News" Video produced by CNNBC."]Snapshot of Breaking News Video produced by CNNBC.[/caption]

Cool, isn't it?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fathers, Do You See Yourself In Your Son?

Some fathers see themselves in their sons. Sometimes that creates feelings of joy. Sometimes that creates a feeling of frustration. What's your experience?

Michael PardiƱas shares with us his story. He is a thirty-some business owner of Recipe Food Manufacturing, Inc. that operates in Balagtas, Bulacan. He lives with his family in Quezon City. He's married to Christine, and he has two boys namely Miguel (8 y/o) and Lorenzo (1 y/o).

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Photo of Michael Pardinas with wife Christine and sons Miguel and Lorenzo. Photo was taken in January 2009."]Photo of Michael Pardinas with wife Christine and sons Miguel and Lorenzo. Photo was taken in January 2009.[/caption]

I met Michael for the first time as a fellow member of Epsilon Chi Fraternity in UP Diliman. While I was basically a visiting brod that time, I had this impression of him as a private person. This was decades ago.

It was therefore a pleasant surprise when Michael graciously agreed to an interview about what he discusses with his kids on the dinner table (the same interview I gave to Bo Sanchez earlier). I made it clear to him that the interview will be published, and he was OK with the idea.

So, here we go...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Who Else Heard This Myth From Western Friends?

Myths abound in Filipino culture. And they're all lovely. But one myth comes from Western friends, and I don't know who else have heard this one: that Filipino society is matriarchal.

Do you think so?

Amorsolo - Ina at Anak
Painting by Fernando Amorsolo entitled "Ina at Anak" as featured in

We have a matricentric society. But are we matriarchal? That is the question.

I found interesting discussions about this in the net too:
  1. The word "matriarchal" is used loosely by commenters "The Saint" and "Ira" to refer to their experience about gender biases in schools and in corporations;
  2. Commenter "Annabelle" used the word "matriarchal" because we have a woman for a President;
  3. Commenter "Fatherpose" (obviously a non-Filipino) used the word "matriarchal" to impress their perception that Filipino men are "wimpy"
  4. A Wapedia entry entitled "Religion in the Philippines" debatably interprets the major roles played by women in pre-colonial Filipino history to mean that the Filipinos are basically matriarchal.

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