The Sexy Mom and the General - Two Filipina Stories  

Posted by Laya in ,

I was at the UKP-AWNGAD Forum on Gender Justice Development last Monday, March 3, for the launching of WikiPilipinas' Encyclopedia of Philippine Women and Filipiniana.net's Philippine Women's Studies microsite for Women's Month. Along with us, Ms. Dine Racoma (Sexymom of The D Spot) and Ms. Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (A Filipina Mother's Recovery) talked about uplifting the Filipina image through the site they co-founded, FilipinaImages.com.

Ms. Dine told us that her nickname "sexymom" was given to her by no less than her kids because she used to be conscious about her figure and her kids always reassured her that she was "the sexiest mom in the whole world". Being the proud mama that she is, she used the nickname as her online alter ego at the office and in her blog. She had been using the nickname for quite a long time in her blog (the D Spot) when suddenly someone who called herself "decentmom" (as opposed to "sexymom" I guess) left a comment on her blog saying that she was a disgrace to Filipinas because of her nom-de-plume. This decentmom said that everytime perverts all around the world searched for "sexy mom" they would be directed to her blog. Which blog, by the way, has nothing "sexy" in it but is full of motherhood and parenting things, and stuff like that.

The situation caught my funnybone. First, because although Filipinos do not generally talk of sex in decent company (except for us professionals who may mention it in a clinical sense when discussing issues) , we see nothing wrong with the use of the word "sexy". To us, sexy doesn't connote sex inasmuch as it connotes fitness. Sexy to a lot of Filipinos means "looking good". Not necessarily "fit for sex" or "hot for sex", which is Western thinking.

I think there's nothing wrong with the nickname "sexymom" although it may sound a little naughty to others (there, Ms. Dine, I've said it). It just describes a woman who is sure of herself, as a woman and as a mother, who is fit and well and feels great. BTW, I have a friend I call that myself when I didn't know Ms. Dine was the original sexymom-- and I called my friend that because although she was pregnant, she was still kikay and a fashionista, but nothing indecent about it. A woman deserves to feel good about herself, even when she's supposed to be in a situation where she might not look her best, like being pregnant, and "sexy mom" was the highest compliment I could give her. Lots better than calling her "losyang mom", anyway.

Anyway. Ms. Dine and Ms. Noemi had gotten fed up with all the Google results of dating sites and escort services and porn sites whenever they did a search of the word "Filipina" (like I did). They realized how low the Filipina's image had sunk and that Filipinas were generally perceived as mail-order-brides, prostitutes, and domestic helpers, as well as opportunists. So they started Filipina Images as a way to show that Filipinas were more than that. Love that concept.

Another person who spoke at the forum was "Aleng Pulis", the first female PNP Brigadier General (hats off to you, Ma'am), Yolanda Tanigue, who headed the PNP Women's and Children's Division, or the "Women's Desk". She is a staunch advocate of women's and children's rights, and truly measures up to being the only woman in a man's world with the rank to match. Yet, the one thing I remember about her is the anecdote she told about having to break the news to the policeman who was going to receive the "Bayaning Pulis" award. According to her, the policeman was very nervous when he was called to her office, because most of the time, men only got called to her office when they were investigated for something like violence against women. When she told him to sit down, he insisted on remaining standing and said that he loved his wife, he loved his kids, he had never done anything to them, and he didn't know why he was there. So she had to say that he was there because she was to tell him that he was to receive a commendation. The relieved policeman said "in that case, ma'am, may I sit down" because his legs were already none too steady. Whew. Now that's a woman--- when men quake in their boots in front of her instead of the other way around. And I mean that in a complimentary way.

I guess the reason why I simply had to talk about these two women is because they have broken out of the Filipina "maria clara" stereotype, the perception that if a Filipina does not meet this maria clara image (which is vastly overrated because Maria Clara was fictional anyway, hello!) she is no better than she should be. In many ways, the Filipina is strong-- she has always been strong, even through three centuries of repression under Spain and the church, even through exploitation and slavery and drudgery she is strong. Even repressed by Spain, Filipinas found a way to take up arms and fight. Even exploited and degraded, they found ways to assert their dignity and to break away from their chains. When given the burden of supporting their families, they went overseas to work, surviving physical, mental and emotional hardships far away from their families in order to give those back home better lives. Women are traditionally viewed as needing protection, yet many Filipinas led the forefront in order to protect others who couldn't do it for themselves. Although many areas of endeavour are traditionally bastions of men, Filipinas have broken into these areas and made it their own.

The Filipina still has a ways to go, but yes, we don't know how far she might reach.

This entry was posted at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

3 people cared

Yup, that issue was something else. There is also the issue of Manilenya, whose blog description is, Ang blag ng bobang Pinay. Someone commented at how it demeans the image of the Filipino. Manilenya is one of the most read blogs and though it is written in Pilipino shows how intelligent the writer is. Some people are just too dumb (or seeks attention) at times that they simply pass judgement on others.

March 6, 2008 at 8:35 AM

"Sexymom"? LOL... that's cute. But I understand what you mean in googling just about anything related to The Philippine Islands or Filipino people. A few years ago, I worked with a very loving and carefree woman, in her sixties. She was a Filipina.

She told me once about the "chocolate hills", and when I googled it, on about the third page, there was site obviously related to porn, or sex. I admit I laughed, and shook my head.

Anyway, I appreciate that you don't blame some of the woman that do things like marrying a person they have never met before, or use their bodies to attract men. That non-judemental attitude really shines.

Thanks for sharing.

March 22, 2008 at 8:58 AM

Schumey and Steveo, thanks for the comments ^_^

Schumey: it just goes to show that Filipinos have a pretty perverse sense of humor *LOL* and too bad for those who don't appreciate it. They might try to live in this country sometime; maybe they might catch it. Then again, maybe not.

Steveo: Yup, that kind of thing sort of sticks in my craw, if you know what I mean. I've been blessed with more privileges than a lot of people here in my country-- at least I got an education and opportunities to improve myself. I know a lot of people who weren't so lucky, and I don't know if I'd be as strong as they are if I were in their shoes!

March 27, 2008 at 10:35 AM

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