I rarely pay attention to–much less share–Sponsored videos I see on my Facebook newsfeed. But I recently did. It’s this touching Ariel commercial:
Watch the viral video that has been featured by CNN and has been applauded by global gender-equality icon, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook. The video is about men who #ShareTheLoad through helping their wives do household chores – doing the laundry, for example.
I couldn’t relate because I grew up seeing my father wash our clothes with my mom on weekends after a long work week in the city when we don’t have a maid. Sometimes, he would even be absent from work when curtains and beddings were scheduled to be washed and the weekend is not enough.
On top of that, Dad finds joy in cooking for us. Our standards when it comes to inihaw na bangus and inihaw na pusit are pretty high, because Dad’s ihaw skills are legendary. A few hours before dinner, he would personally go to the market to ensure he gets the best fish and the biggest and freshest pusit. Then he would very slowly broil these seafood outdoors. While guarding our inihaw, I remember sitting on his lap while he points out constellations in the dark sky. But it doesn’t end there: he would go up to personally chopping our pusit, flaking our bangus, and putting them on our plates. All we have to do is sit and eat. (Although until I was 11 years old, I remember that my best meals where when I ate from Dad’s bare hands). It takes hours before we eat, but the waiting is always well worth the wait: tasty, just-right, tender broiled fish and pusit all the time.
When he brings us to the airport to send us off to our maternal grandparents’s for summer vacation, he would always wear dark shades because he always cries. As in hagulhol, that Mom would chide him and say, “Uuwi rin naman!” Hehe.
And although careerwise my Mom is more successful, Mom always expresses that despite their differences, Dad is the wind beneath her wings. Dad is never insecure about Mom’s career success, and allows her to shine. He’s not one to demand that she be home early to do this or that. For Dad, Mom’s success is also his success.
By my portrayal of my Dad, one would think he’s effeminate. But NO. Hahaha, NO! His mere baritone voice would intimidate anyone. His features would rival any Pinoy contravida’s. I don’t think anyone has ever thought he could be anything less than a man.
My Dad is not perfect, and we have hurt each other m’s feelings several times. There are some things about him I still fervently pray he would change. And though his barrio-tic and kuripot ways used to embarrass me (hehe), I realize that my childhood wouldn’t have been that fun or exciting if I had the corporate, sa-opisina-lang-ako-magtatrabaho Dad I have always wanted. This Ariel commercial (bless the person behind it!) made me appreciate the kind of man Dad is.
And most importantly, I wouldn’t have been the woman I am if I had a different Dad.
Because of how Dad treated Mom, it had always been inculcated in my mind that a husband and wife must share the load in everything. That a real man is not conscious of what society delineates what a certain gender must do. A real man is more conscious of how his strength could lighten the load of and bring joy to his loved ones.
So because of Dad, the man I married not only works hard to provide our material needs. He also works hard to babysit our son just so I could sleep more, attend to my kaartehan, or just so he could spoil me.
Because my Dad is a real man, I married a real man. And my son will grow up to be a real man.