Drama Culture: The Emotional Filipino

Friday, May 16, 2014

Life is a big soap opera, in the eyes of the Filipinos, so to speak.


It's so amazing to find a non-Filipino fall in love with my country. ( I mean, there are plenty of my fellow Filipinos who have fallen out of love with our country.) I stumbled upon Nathan Allen's blog, I Dreamed of This, he writes so passionately about the Philippines that no one would think he isn't a true-blooded Filipino.He is not, and it is so heartwarming to read his posts, and he writes as honest as he can, be it positive or negative one. A particular blogpost he did which caught my eye was 5 Ways the Philippines Changed Me FOREVER - @iDreamedOfThis - The "Not Just Travel" Blog. I am amazed at how he captured the real Philippines in his posts. He wrote so honestly that it stirred mixed emotions in me. He made me feel less than a Filipino than he was.

In a separate post , What I Really Think of the Philippines he wrote, "If you are a man and you end up in a relationship here, buckle your seat belt.  Perhaps it's the Spanish blood, but relationships here can be passionate Fiery...and with loads of jealousy and drama.  Drama seems to be a form of entertainment here, and as a local explained to me, maybe it comes from the close-knit family dynamic.  Everybody knows everybody's business, and gossiping about it seems to be one of the primary forms of entertainment.  Watching a "telenovela" (soap opera) on TV will give you a good idea of just how dramatic the culture can possibly be.  I guess when you look at the situation with men's wives and mistresses, it makes sense that jealousy would be a part of the equation.." 


This is a delegate to the climate change summit where he became so emotional. It turns out that climate change became
personal to him since he has family members who were victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

This is sooo true. Filipinos are very emotional people. A contradiction to how Filipino men loves machismo, they are not really afraid to cry. I have seen male friends, and former flames cry just to show their passion for the one they love. And this is why drama has become a way of life. Households, from the middle class down would say soap operas are part of their daily routines. And this include the men. They are not ashamed to join in on conversations unfolding the previous night's episode of their favorite soap.We relate to every soap opera we saw on TV. To some, this is where their whole life rotates.

That's why I don't watch The Legal Wife. My mind has a unique way of absorbing these kind of information in a different way. I don't want to end up a jealous, insecure woman who would be having recurring nightmares about her husband or partner's infidelity. Sorry TLW fans.

Photo: philippineresponse.iom.int

Lunch breaks would be spent talking about the latest developments in their soap's story. I seldom relate to them since I do not usually follow soap operas, unless the storyline has something unique to offer. Imho, this characteristic is also negative in such a way that this influences how someone see themselves as relating to what they are watching. Not everybody who watches these tearjerker are wise enough to know that those stories on tv are just the figment of the story writers' imagination. Sometimes, the shows on TV would be classified as the real world. Although, on the other hand, this characteristic of the Filipinos clearly shows how we can be simple in our definition of happiness. And in some ways, it is good to be emphatic.

On a personal note, I can say that we Filipinos are truly an emotional kind of being. It has been my weakness to write emotionally, and it gives me quite a difficult time to sound business like or professional-like in my emails. Emails are supposed to be short, but I can't do it. Short to me is 2 paragraph. I hope people reading my emails don't tire. We really have a way of overreacting to things. Think Kris Aquino. Every part of her life is highlighted, be it her newly-cut hair, or her love affairs.

Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo sits in a wheelchair . She, like former Pres.Erap Estrada preferred hospital arrest. But I guess this is one of their privileges being former presidents.

Our culture is really dramatic. Even in politics. What do these politicians resort to when they got caught with their dirty deeds? They resort to drama. Whether they stage their own heart attacks or convulsions or not, this kind of drama never fails to gain some public sympathy. How many times have we seen politicians in wheelchairs every time they would be apprehended and asked to answer the law? Hospital arrest has been popular to the rich and in politics so as to stay away from the prison cells that unfortunately, the poor cannot escape from.Rot in the cells, too bad, you don't have money to stay in an air-conditioned prison cell.
Former Chief Justice Renato Corona sits on a wheelchair during his impeachment trial.

So, again, I am guilty of this, of being so overly-dramatic and most of the time over-reacting to issues. Now, I have something to justify my actions. It's just the way we are. It's just the way I am. It's the Filipino culture and we love being that. Hate me or love me. You be the judge.

Not being so overly dramatic tonight but still keeping the faith,






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