Thursday, September 1, 2011


Someone (a friend on facebook?) noted that no person over 30 years old should be using smileys. Well, this hit me like a tonne of bricks. I am guilty, that is, of using smileys in my SMS but not of being over 30. ;) When did I start doing this? My beloved philosophy professor (may his soul rest in peace) would turn in his grave if he knew I picked up this most 'vile' habit.

In a cold sweat of panic, I called a friend who'd immigrated here from Canada only 5 months ago in the hope that she could shed light on how one or I acquired this affliction. Her candid observations confirmed my suspicion. Apparently, it's a trait somewhat unique to us Filipinos, so she says. "You mean that we are nation of happy people and therefore pepper our SMS messages with smileys?" I retorted. No, she explained it thus: it is our way of ensuring that messages are not misinterpreted in the wrong way. We tend to take frankness and a matter-of-factly kind of tone as a sign of rudeness. Hence, we use smileys to avoid misinterpretation.

As trite and unremarkable as this observation appears, it was a revelation for me: one, that we are for better or for worse conscientious when it comes to manners and niceties, that or we are just overly sensitive; two (and more importantly for me), that I exhibit that "Filipino" trait. Yes, despite having lived abroad for over 15 years, of having eaten countless French toast with maple syrup and watched season after season of NHL hockey (which invariably ended each time in playoff disappointment), I am Filipino through and through, at least in the way I text and that makes me :)

Ferdinand Manebo Entry #11

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