I have this semi favorite movie, its a romantic drama, staring Lea Salonga and Aga Muhlach. It was timely because it was coincided with the beginning of the exodus of nurses/caregivers from the Philippines to the US and UK.
This meant that a relatively simple, formulaic and somewhat unoriginal story were mitigated by the caliber of acting that aga and Lea brought to the film.
This meant that the story was personal to many Filipinos whose love ones just had to go to another nation to at least have a chance for a better life.
The movie consisted of few distinct episode.
- The Aga Leah Relationship in th Philippines. Aga as an ambitious office drone and Lea an ordinary Filipina.
- Separate Live Aga in the Philippines and Lea in San Francisco. Lea’s path to the American Dream , self reliance and a relatively successful but painful transition to her new life.
- Together in the US, Aga doing Menial Labor and Lea as a successful Real Estate broker
The point is that Lea has to choose between her life in the US and being with Aga. She chose to leave her life and be with Aga.
The point is when I first saw the film, I think I was 10 or 9 then , It hit me that why is it expected that the girl sacrifices everything for their love to remain. (I have a different perspective now, maybe part of growing up.).
Stupid me was easy to agitate and around 6 years later when I was older and the movie was shown on tv I was still irritated enough that I asked friend and classmates what they thought about the film, and probably more than half of the people I tlaked to didn’t care much for the film, I didn’t find anyone who found that Lea had to sacrifice.
How does this figure into Gender Equality in the Philippines? Its that Filipina women are presently expected to hold jobs and still be like the previous generation’s mothers. In short they are expected to be superwomen. The crux of the matter is that in the Philippines it is expected and save for a handful of women’s rights groups in the Philippines helping women in their expanded roles are not in my countries psyche.
On a related note because of Nurses (mostly women), domestic helpers, entertainers and the like, their are a growing number of people termed as house husbands. This is refreshing because it is slowly being acceptable. This means that the old mores are slowly giving way to the realities of a small world.
Gender equality on the slide?
6 August 2008
Support for gender equality in Britain and the US appears to have peaked and could now be going into decline, research at Cambridge University has revealed.
The study, by Professor Jacqueline Scott from the University’s Department of Sociology, found evidence of “mounting concern” that women who play a full and equal role in the workforce do so at the expense of family life.
Although there are no signs of a full-scale gender-role backlash, there does appear to be growing sympathy for the old-fashioned view that a woman’s place is in the home, rather than in the office.
The study appears in a new book, Women And Employment; Changing Lives And New Challenges, which Professor Scott also edited. The majority of the contributors form part of an ongoing research network on Gender Inequalities funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
“The notion that there has been a steady increase in favour of women taking an equal role in the workplace and away from their traditional role in the home is clearly a myth,” she said.
“Instead, there is clear evidence that women’s changing role is viewed as having costs both for the woman and the family.
“It is conceivable that opinions are shifting as the shine of the ‘super-mum’ syndrome wears off, and the idea of women juggling high-powered careers while also baking cookies and reading bedtime stories is increasingly seen to be unrealisable by ordinary mortals.”
The survey compared the results of social attitude surveys from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s – using recent data from the International Social Survey Programme as well as older polls. Professor Scott focused on the results from Britain, the United States and – because the earlier surveys pre-dated the fall of the Berlin Wall – the former Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany).