19 June 2006

Post-Father's Day Thoughts

I received this in the email yesterday. The red arrows are mine. And oh, I have no financial interests in that brand or company, ok? It struck me as a brilliant way to advertise.....very timely, and it manages to stir in some moral controversy among the Casanova lady-killers around us. Ehem!

Like Christmas and other important celebrations, I agree with the erudite Isagani Cruz when he says that all these celebrations are commercial hype --- designed to lure unsuspecting, vulnerable, emotional human beings like you and me to submit to their calls of "Buy! Buy! Buy!"

But, back to the advert above, what's wrong with being a Dad? I mean, so what if that brand's competitors are all proud fathers?

In a conference held in Vienna sometime in 2003, a paper presented discussed the feminization of Philippine migration in Europe, citing that out of the 500,000 Filipinos there, over 400,000 or 80 percent are women. Some have become unwitting participants of the shrewd mail-order-bride program. Most are doing domestic work. Using a crude cause-and-effect analysis, we know that if more and more Flipinas migrated in Europe, that would mean that a substantial portion of the males left here at home would become what the media now calls the --- Filipino househusbands --- a spin-off monicker of the original revered and domesticated "housewife."

Alecks P. Pabico of PCIJ, in her notable article "Men as Mothers," quoted veteran author Alicia Tadeo Pingol on the unfolding reality of Filipino gender role reversal:
In her book Remaking Masculinities, sociologist Alicia Pingol studies the gender dynamics in Ilocano families with migrant wives and stay-at-home husbands. She points to the shifting definitions of masculinity that somehow lessen the threat to Pinoy manhood when husbands are forced to assume the role of caregiver for the sake of the family's finances.

The new masculine image, says Pingol, now comes in a variety of forms, from efficiently managing their wives' remittances to remaining loyal spouses, to attending to their children's needs. Interestingly, another new mark of masculinity, according to Pingol, is the dogged determination of many of the men to find ways to contribute economically to the family income so as not to become too dependent on their wives' earnings.

The emerging new face of the Filipino Dad has taken a complex but more noble nature. Times might have changed, but the loving nature has remained ingrained.

Belated Happy Father's Day to all dads out there! We salute you for all the things you do. Mabuhay kayong lahat!

There are three stages of a man's life: He believes in Santa Claus, he doesn't believe in Santa Claus, he is Santa Claus. ~Anonymous

2 reactions:

ipanema said...

Very interesting. With the advent of global migration, it is normal, in our local setting to find the husband at home. Yes, a reversal of opportunities and of fortune. Long before Europe became a hotbed for OFWs, Filipino men thrived in the Middle East, so wives have to stay and mind the children, herself juggling to strike balance between career and a dual-role in a family. Those were the Saudi days, there are still a vast majority going to that part of the globe, but it has since expanded to other continents such as Europe having opened its doors, though cautiously. There are still restrictions on foreign migrant workers outside of the EU. A few days ago, France passed their immigration bill scrapping citizenship after 10 yrs residency, no more benefits – yes, one’s business is just to work there, and for us contemplating to go there, you have to learn French.

Some professionals like nurses, teachers, care givers, au pairs are in demand, so it’s natural that women get the jobs. It’s not surprising to find husbands minding the home. Though some countries allow family migration, others couldn’t make it as children are in the middle of their schooling. Once frowned upon, it’s a common set-up nowadays.

Economic reasons brought us this change in a typical Filipino family. The new face of a Filipino Dad, what’s wrong? Nothing. I love to see men do the cooking, fetching children and doing the groceries. Belated Happy Father’s Day!

bayibhyap said...

Looks like I am one happy Santa Claus now! :)