From the Midwest redneck author of "The Rooster Crows at 4am!," "Lizard Poop!," and "The Philippines Expat Advisor"
The Husband is Still King in the Philippines
Ward Cleaver comes home from a hard day in the office wearing his ever-present suit and tie and gets a peck on the cheek by the immaculately coiffed and fashionably dressed June Cleaver, his wife. Handsome oldest son, Wally, stands on the stairway along with his mischievous brother, Theodore, or"Beaver" (please note that this nickname only referred to an animal that builds dams as the show debuted in a more innocent time before the age of Cable TV and Internet porn) is shown grinning widely and sitting on the stairs with a goofy grin on his face. This was America in the 1950's and early 60's as portrayed by such sitcoms as "Leave it to Beaver" and "Father Knows Best." (Photo from Flickr)
Ahhh, the 50's! A simpler time. A time when a wife would fix her husband a pot of Maxwell House coffee in the morning along with two slices of buttered toast liberally slathered with Welch's Grape Jam and two eggs sunny-side up with yolks unbroken and a generous portion of greasy, fried bacon. A glass of OJ on the side for "The King" as he smoked his pipe and read his morning newspaper before heading out to the "salt mines," warrior and glorious bread winner that he was.
A time when a woman would pack her husband's lunch. A time where a woman would put on her husbands socks and shoes in the morning and even lace those shoes up if necessary. A time when children listened to their parents and yes, even their teachers. But wait! Those times still exist! Just travel with me via Philippines Air Lines, or your carrier of choice, and let's visit the home of Jose and Emily Tabios, my brother-and-sister-in law who reside in the aptly named King's Point Subdivision in Caloocan City in Metro Manila. You might think you're back in the United States fifty years ago in the Cleaver household, but this is 2011. Welcome to a typical subdivision in Manila where the husband is still king in the Philippines.
Sitting at the front entrance of Emily and Joe's a few mornings ago with my asawa at my side as I watched in utter amazement and disbelief as Emily began putting her husband's socks on his feet. She then proceeded to put his shoes on and started lacing them and tied them!
In a total state of shock I said to my sister-in-law that there is NO WAY that a wife in America would do that for her husband. She look puzzled. She didn't understand. I then jokingly said to The Sainted Patient Wife that I wanted her to start doing that for me when we got back to Guimaras. She laughed uncontrollably for about 15 minutes straight and nearly fell off the couch.
Unfortunately my spouse lived in America for nine years before we retired to the Philippines almost two years ago. She still has retained some of her "Americanized" ways. So I will be putting on my own socks and shoes for many, many years to come. Of that, I have no doubt. Is the husband still king in the Philippines? Well, in some households.