Have you notice the trending theme in Philippine TV and cinema? Yes, you're right - it is about infidelity, mistress and paramour or in tagalog kabit. I wonder why this theme is common these days. Is this the current situation of our country? Where the kabit is in fad while the legal wife/husband is thrown into oblivion? Or it is merely for capitalistic motive? That infidelity becomes an instant entertainment for public consumption?
Whether you watch ABS-CBN, GMA or TV5 shows, you will notice this element is common. Whether locally made or franchise abroad. It becomes inevitable that you will predict what the ending is. Shows like Face to Face, Two Wives, Pink Lipstick and in films such as No Other Woman, My Neighbor's Wife and the latest, The Mistress, deals with this issue.
In sociological perspective, "the family is the basic social institution and primary group on a society." In Asian tradition, family has a great value. Asians like the Filipinos, give importance to the role of family in the society. Respect in elders and extended family ties are common practices in the Philippines and other Asian countries.
"The Philippines is undergoing many changes, these have been brought about by a number of factors which had profound effects on the family. Among them are geographical mobility, increasing population, increasing industrialization and urbanization, the idea of universal education, the changed status and role of the Filipino woman and the diffusion of the mass media. These changes have affected all segments of the society, not excepting the family. These social changes bring about conflict in values and mores, which may bring about social problems." (1)
On the other hand, we cannot blame the Producers to exploit in this issue. It is one of the reflections of our society and they use it for entertainment for profit. It becomes a "distorted reality" that has the same plot, cliché dialogues and unrealistic endings. They are all cater to the subconscious desires of the audience. There is no concrete resolution only vague presentation.
"For centuries in the West, marriage was regarded as virtually indissoluble. Divorces were granted only in limited solutions, such as non-consummation of marriage. Yet today most countries have moved rapidly toward making divorce more easily available." (2)
In the Philippines, divorce is not yet proclaim only annulment. The Philippines remains the only nation in the world that does not have a law legalizing divorce. Some Filipinos are advocating the Divorce Bill while some reject it especially the religious group(s). The latter claims that the Divorce Bill is an extension of RH Bill and it has the same proponents. They said that it is a highway for immorality and degradation of Philippine culture and religious standards and beliefs. On the other hand, the defenders claim that it is for the good of the women (and their children) who experienced physical, verbal or sexual abuse, extramarital affairs and have irresponsible husband(s); and to attain independence and security. They see divorce as the answer to their problems.
Though this issue is not new to us, there is no in depth analysis or studies dealing this matter. While in fad, expect more of this concept will appear and tickle our emotions. We hope that these shows/films would remind us that infidelity has bad effects and not worth emulating.
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.
1. Panopio Isabel S., Cordero Felicidad V., Raymundo Adelisa A. General Sociology: Focus on the Philippines. Quezon City. Ken Inc. 2009
2. Giddens Anthony, et.al., Introduction to Sociology, 5th ed. New York. W.W. Norton & Company Inc. 2005