The human heart was—and remains—a mystery to me. But I’m learning. I have to. —Anthony Bourdain

Of public shaming


What I’ve been thinking about today was the culture of public shaming we Filipinos tend to have. I don’t think people realize they do it sometimes, but the thing about a culture being able to “laugh all things off” also can tend to spout a culture of tactlessness and hidden hurt. I get it a lot now. I have admittedly gained weight, being the heaviest I have ever been in my life, and comments of “Neng, antaba mo ngayon ah!” (Sweetie, you’re so fat now!) or “Laki ah!” (You’re so big!) are common when I see people nowadays.

Sometimes it hurts, even if it’s true. I like that people are comfortable enough with me to honestly tell me what they see, but having it done in front of other people I hardly know, or strangers can sting a bit. And it’s not just weight. I’ve seen a friend who has been happily married for 7 years post about their anniversary, and then get a comment from an aunt saying “O, asan na kids? Di ka na bata!” (Where are the kids? You’re not getting any younger) or another get a Facebook wall post that said “Single pa rin? Lumabas ka kasi!” (Still single? Go out and mingle!) It’s a sickness, and I think today, we should think about turning that negativity around and comment on what the person actually has instead of what the person is missing.

I understand about wanting to be honest, and being frank about what you think, and it helps people stay grounded, but keep a balance. Criticize in private and praise in public. If you’re concerned about a friend’s choices in health, boyfriend, career, make a date to discuss it over coffee. If they’re going about their life in a different path than you might have taken, take the time to understand it with them. Tearing down someone’s happiness won’t put you any higher on the scale, it just makes you a nego-eggo.


I think you look great today. Your link about that how-to really helped me this week. That resto recommendation really worked out well for us! Thank you. These are some things I’m going to be saying more often, and I hope you find the positive in somebody today too.

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