“Ours is a society where polite small talk takes the form of inquisitions about body weight, oftentimes the spirit of levity masking impoliteness.”

Says it all.

Quote from Lourd De Veyra’s 20 Snappy Replies to the Comment, “Uy, tumataba ka ata”.

The opposite happened to me sometime ago (“Uy, pataba ka ha”) and while at the time it didn’t grate me, it crept up on me and felt belatedly rude, intrusive, and presumptuous. Feeling close, kung baga. The first thing you think of to strike up a conversation with someone you just met literally 30 minutes ago is to dole out unsolicited advice?

Even if you become the patron saint of fitness and your insight might actually be viable, how dare you tell someone how to live their life.

On another occasion, majority of a despedida was spent teasing a beloved aunt about what salacious things she might do abroad. For the first few times it was funny, but between her soft-spoken, pacifist, ‘di makahulog-pinggan nature and everyone else’s loud, relentless jabs, it was like watching a lamb being led to slaughter. How embarrassing and disappointing that people could treat their own flesh and blood like that, even in jest.

So we’ve got these unreasonable, outdated rules about blindly following your elders, but people get away with rude statements because it’s “only” a joke, or maybe because they’re the ones providing for the family now?

This “fun” behavior carries on to circles of friends, and other gatherings where people believe it’s a great way to break the ice. The more you can tease and “mockingly” insult someone, the closer you are to them. Apparently, it’s scientifically proven that we hurt the ones we love most.

I’m all for frankness. Ironically, this is the same society that chooses to sugarcoat statements then become aghast and offended when the cold, hard truth is laid before them. The same culture where “Walang basagan ng trip” is a modern-day adage.

It’s a schizophrenic, inconsistent line of impropriety. Filipinos are desperate to save face, keep up appearances, and avoid public confrontation or embarassment, but everyone else can be gossiped about or interrogated to the most private detail.

Larger image source. This is a great example of having a post sitting in your drafts forever until a great photo comes along to set the tone. Good luck with the holidays, these tees might help! Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with the creators of those shirts, I’m just a fan.

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