There is a lot of talk on social media about Shamcey’s answer to the question, “would she marry someone who had a different religion”. The question strikes a cord with many people because it intersects with Marriage, and Religion. God, and marriage is many things to different people. Just as the concept of what love is, varies from person to person.
Shamcey’s answer to her Miss Universe question was cheesy, and classically Filipino. That’s to say, nothing is wrong with her answer. If that is what she believes in, why shouldn’t we respect that opinion?
Personally? I thought the answer was a bit naive, and incredelous. It is one of those things you do a mental shrug.
Googling Shamcey reveals she’s twenty-five. In the Philippines, twenty-five year olds is the new eighteen year old. Her wikipedia bio-data (Okay, you can stop cringing that I am quoting wikipedia) reads like the classic text book perfect Filipina. Magna cum laude in Architecture school, perfect daughter, and pre-buzz pagaent branded her as a town heroine for coming from nothing to this great success.
Someone remarked to me the other day, he met Shamcey once. She was fresh from her Miss Philippines win. She wasn’t standoffish. Obviously, not yet jaded by fame and the attention of being a celebrity constantly in the spotlight. We’re precariously close to (if society hasn’t already done so) crossing the line of judging Shamcey Supsup for her response to a question that I think strikes a cord in many people.
There seemingly is a tag of war between religious conservatism in the country, and the growing idea that religion is a personal matter. Just as the idea of the traditional Filipino family concept is being challenged by changing social mores. I’ve met people who are perfectly happy living together, having a family together without the bond of marriage. So much that they are adamant they do not like that bond.
Recently, I’ve seen this ad on television, with the family eating together and the son talking about that real men don’t go have sex before marriage. And I thought, that’s where religious conservatism fails, and missing the point. It isn’t having sex before or after getting married that matters, it is about taking responsibility for people you love. It isn’t having sex, it is that real men provide. They don’t get out of the responsibility of looking after their wife, girlfriend— and if they had a kid, those children. The whole point ought to be, if you get a girl pregnant, real men find ways to provide for that kid. Real men don’t run away. Put it another way, “When love is truly responsible, it is also truly free,” Pope John Paul II wrote in his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope.
Going back to the Shamcey Supsup question, aside from the God question, her response strikes a cord because it goes after that moveable target called, “Love”. The Miss Universe question after all, is a timeless one. Romantics believe that true love is about moving mountains. It is the test of time. Hell, isn’t there a Biblical quote that says you leave your parents to go live with the one you marry? At the heart of the Shamcey question was a timeless question: “Would you move mountains for love?”
If moving mountains for love wasn’t fundamental, songs, poems, literature wouldn’t be written about it. In fact, at the heart of the recent Doctor Who episode, “The Girl Who Waited”, had present Amy Pond asking future Amy to “move mountains for love”. It is probably one the best Doctor Who episode to date. Future Amy was stuck for 36 years in an alternate time stream. She was all alone, in a personal hell but was a katana-wielding, sonic probe carrying kick-ass Amy. Future Amy was adamant that saving her past self would ultimately, “Kill her”. That version of her who lived 36 years would never have been. Rory— her husband, and the Doctor were asking her to save present Amy from that fate.
“You’re asking me to defy destiny, causality, the nexus of time itself for a boy?” Future Amy asked her younger self.
“You’re Amy. He’s Rory. And, oh yes, I am”.
Future Amy turns around, and goes to her husband and says, “I’m going to blow time apart for you”.
Put it another way, the Miss Universe 2011 pagaent was asking Shamcey, “What would you do for love?”
My question for you is this. In our response to the Shamcey Supsup question, are we in fact coloring it with our own beliefs?
One thing that seems to be missing in this whole hoopla, in the question of language, in the matter pertaining to Art, and RH Bill is that we seem to be a society that has little respect for each other’s opinion. Our society is so ego-driven.
Shamcey Supsup is the modern day Maria Clara, an avatar of the perfect idea of the good girl Filipina in a modern world. The wide spectrum of people agreeing and disagreeing with her, and how they agree or not, says something about our nation, and our society and our culture in general. Put in another way, The Miss Universe pageant asked Shamcey if she would defy destiny, causality, the nexus of time itself for a boy. Her answer was, “No”. There is no right or wrong answer. Is it fair then to be injecting own mores, and is it fair to Shamcey to represent all that clashing idea of who is the Filipina in this modern world?
Photo credit: Shamcey Supsup’s Facebook page.
Video credit: Doctor Who clip by the BBC.