I was given a very tough question to answer and ponder: How can one preserve the concept of manliness in this modern age of liberal views and cultural influences?
Being gay and a call center agent, I was trained to the idea of equality between both sexes. We treat women equally as men in terms of our capacity to serve our customers with the highest level of service. Women can excel in almost all fields of endeavors that are traditionally associated with men.
This is probably one of the reasons why the number of gentlemen is slowly declining. In a fast-paced environment that we’re living, it’s almost a rat race in every activity that we do – from riding the jeepney or taxi to commuting to the office via MRT. Most of the time, men forgets our own Filipino values of being gentlemen and being manly.
Even though I’m gay, I still consider myself to be manly enough like the rest of my straight friends – and even more. Let me give you my 7 principles on how I considered someone to be “manly”.
- Be responsible – Whether you’re a student or a young professional, it’s always expected for a man to be responsible with his studies or work. Never ever be a bum and expect your mom to give you allowances even after you graduate from college. Find a decent job, help your mom with the bills and support yourself financially. Manly means loving your work and being responsible. A married guy, who thinks of his family first before anything else, is definitely manly.
- Be gentlemen – Simple things like giving your seat in the MRT, jeepney or bus to a girl is always a manly thing to do. This teaching has been handed down from our grandparents and in this era of iPhone and Facebook, it is still applicable. Manly means doing small stuff for the girls even if we’re gay.
- Prepare for your future – Always have money in the bank and have insurance. Although it’s not a common practice for most Filipinos to invest in insurance, don’t think like the rest of the population on this matter. It has been proven in previous generations that we should always hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Manly means preparing for what the future may bring.
- Having a palabra de honor – In the vernacular, may isang salita. It’s always manly to be firm with your decisions and to do exactly what you have said. If you said that you’ll go to an appointment, you don’t have to be reminded about it. People can hold on to what you have said. Remember what our lolo use to say? Itaga mo sa bato. Manly means you abide by your promises.
- Help others – Whether it’s for a relative, a friend or a stranger, it’s always manly to be helpful of others. No matter how many digits your salary is, it’s always ideal to give back something to the society. I don’t believe in giving alms to beggars on the street. I believe in giving to known NGOs that uplifts the status of these beggars especially street children. Manly means giving a portion of your salary to charitable institution on a regular basis.
- Being a Boy Scout – Everything I need to know about being a guy for others, I learned in the Scouting Movement. The Boy Scout Oath and Law embody all the values that guys should possess. We should never forget all the things that we’ve learned in our scouting years.
Manly means abiding by the Scout Law (being Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent).
7. Being Hygienic – Not just on the physical aspect but also being conscious of what we’re eating. Like the famous saying, “you are what you eat”. Part of being hygienic also means maintaining a daily exercise even as simple as walking. Manly also means using effective hygiene and grooming products like that of Kojie.san to enhances and boost our physical traits. Girls definitely want well-groomed guys.
I believe that all the aspects of being manly are covered by these 7 principles of mine. Yes, even a gay guy like me can be manly. I love being considered manly – it’s an honor to be acknowledged as such by the girls.
How about you my straight guy readers, what are the things that you do to preserve your manliness in this modern age?