A couple of years ago I wrote a sociological analysis on the current ALDUB Phenomenon, and it would initially seem that I saw the persona of Lola Nidora (comedian Wally Bayola in drag) as the antagonist of this street-based TV segment series. In fact, I even asserted that: “Any struggling Filipino can surely relate to the ‘power-play’ of this heartless old woman (Lola Nidora) who tries to rule over this poor and helpless damsel in distress, who in turn, hopes that her handsome prince will finally take her and keep his promise of love and happily ever after”.
Well, I must admit that years after my initial analysis (after watching reruns online during this quarantine) I finally realized that such a “disciplinary measure” was never intended to antagonize the love between Yaya Dub and Alden Richards but to guide this “Split-Screen” Romance towards an authentic “Loving Process” uniquely within our Values as Filipinos.
Though I may not totally agree with the “method” that Lola Nidora utilizes in inculcating these values upon Yaya Dub (personally I believe that values are inspired upon an individual and not imposed because it only poses the threat of “reaction formation” or rebellion among those to which values is imposed) but I am in total agreement with her inthe need for us rediscover our Filipino Values towards Love and Marriage most especially in our contemporary times when Annulment and Legal Separation seems to plague the Filipino Family.
Although most Filipinos still value marriage, the proportion that separates from their spouse, both legally and informally, is increasing. The number of annulment and nullity cases filed at the Office of the Solicitor-General (OSG) has increased from 4,520 in 2001 to 11,135 in 2014. Census and survey data also show a similar trend. The increase in union dissolution has been accompanied by a parallel increase in the proportion of Filipinos who live together with their partner without marriage. In the past two decades, the proportion of cohabiting Filipino women of reproductive age almost tripled, from 5.2% in 1993 to 14.5% in 2013 (Abalos 2014; PSA and ICF 2014). Finally, over the last decade the proportion of Filipinos who agreed, “Married couples that have already separated and cannot reconcile anymore should be allowed to divorce so that they can legally marry again” increased from 43% in 2005 to 60% in 2014. Why have we come to this sad social reality despite the fact that we are in a predominantly Catholic country? Well, wrong values lead to erroneous ontological dispositions.
So when it comes to Love, Courtship and Marriage, let us be reminded by Lola Nidora when she says that:
“Mas maganda ang mga bagay na pinagtitiyagaan at dumarating sa tamang panahon. Tandaan ninyong lahat, masarap umibig, masarap ang inspirasyon, huwag lang minamadali. Lahat ng bagay, nasa tamang panahon.” For Filipinos, a tool in measuring a suitor’s sincerity and seriousness is the TEST OF TIME. Love that easily comes easily goes. This form of values helps individuals negotiate the complex transition from sexual attraction, to love, and to lasting marriage. It provides, for better or worse, the moral and emotional education for married life.
Courtship deemed to stand the “test of time” might seem difficult, because the couple, once having determined they are called to be with each other, may grow frustrated with the wait. Sometimes life calls us to be patient and wait for a long time for the things we desire most. Though this can present challenges, it doesn’t make it wrong. We need to always trust that God has a perfect plan for our lives and that He will give us His best if we allow Him to, in His time.
“Ano ito fan sign lang love na? Text, text lang, kayo na? … Ang pagibig ay pinaghihirapan, pinagsusumikapan.” In our country, courtship is the best part of a girl’s romance and love life. This is the reason why in the earlier courting practices there have been a lot of rituals involved to prove one’s earnestness. If a guy wants to be acceptable to the girl’s family, he has to give pasalubong (gifts) every time he drops by her family’s house. Moreover, suitors try to win the affection of his love by trying to win the heart of the family. Often, this takes years or months of cutting wood (or other related household chores) for the family, days of following her around like a dog even though she pretends that she doesn’t see him, and hours of harana (serenade) when he sings songs of love and affection to the one he loves.
Love is a process and only fools rush into love. Our elders have taught us that such “time-tested” and “action-driven” Filipino Courtship Practices will enable each couple to fully understand their emotions towards each other free from the subterfuge of “infatuation” and “lust” towards a true experience of love … and we THANK Lola Nidora for reminding us of this rich Filipino Values System.
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