Shamcey, the M word, and the God Question

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.

Cocoy Dayao

Cocoy is the Chief Technology Officer of Lab Rats Technica, a Digital Consulting company that specialises in DevOps, iOS, and Web Apps, E-Commerce sites, Cybersecurity and Social Media consulting. He is a technology enthusiast, political junkie and social observer who enjoys a good cup of coffee, comic books, and tweets as @cocoy on twitter.

Cocoy is also the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the ProPinoy Project.

Cocoy considers himself to be Liberal.

  • Anonymous ,

    It is good that the question was not —-  should the United Nations take action against countries that do not allow their citizens to marry outside their religion.

    • GabbyD ,

      didnt ms. angola cite god too?

      • Jose Camano ,

        One wayward question and one wayward answer — daaaanng — costs you a crown? Is that all this exercise all about?  Which brings us to the question that we try to fathom one’s intellect with one question and one answer and delights in its result distilled from judges who could have some nasty notion that God is but an aberration.  What’s wrong with looking for your man who can love your God as you do – that is what marriage is all about, two people looking at the same direction. So her answer did not resonate on the  judges and we flog ourselves for missing the crown and wish to deceive ourselves that our bagging it removes the stigma of a beauty pageant being a parade of flesh and skin to masquerade our perverted sense of cultural enrichment.

        • Bill Davis ,

          Good points, Jose. Building a life together certainly requires a foundation of common beliefs, values and goals. I love the irony you pointed out that posing in an evening gown or a bikini counts in her favor, but she seems to have been rejected for having a committed belief in God, a defining sense of character.

        • Arning Gokgok ,

          Miss Universe title is supposed to be an ambassador  to the world and because of her answer , the judges feel that she has a  biased opinion of her own belief.  I think the judges want to have an open mind w/ regards to religion, because it is a very relevant issue now a days, people and nations are fighting because of different religious belief.
          It is not about moving mountains, but to have an understanding that all people are created by one God and most religions are good and there are lots of other good human beings who belong to other religions.

          “A child is born with a heart of gold,  the way of the world makes his heart grow cold..”
          Earth Wind and Fire  

          • Bill Davis ,

            First of all, the whole notion of beauty pageants and being some kind of significant ambassador makes me smile. But don’t you think that there is a difference between being an “ambassador” and having no beliefs of one’s own? Miss Universe is not a religious position in any way, shape or form, and certainly not intended to promote any one view. But an ambassador can allow allowing others to each have their own beliefs without having none of their own, or none that truly define them. They didn’t ask her, “Should everyone believe as you do?” They asked if her beliefs were less meaningful to her than romantic love, and would she abandon them in that case.

          • Roberto ,

            I think that it’s a universal answer, this ‘no’ answer by Shamcy to the question, and not ‘classical’ nor typical Filipino. Anyone who cares about her/his religion, whatever the nationality, will answer the same as Shamcy’s excepting perhaps a non-believer who, if suddenly asked to marry a piously religious person will probably answer in the negative, too.

            Shamcy’s spur-of-the moment answer to a spur-of-the-moment question has nothing to do with her assessment and opinion about love, for it is of everybody’s knowledge and belief, that love can really move mountain.

            My one cent.

            • GabbyD ,

              yup. it is quite universal. the universal wisdom is: dont change yourself for other people. 

              if religion is part of you, then you cant change religion.

            • Anonymous ,

              SIDE-TOPIC :  TROJAN.

              Not the condom,   internet-security TROJAN HORSE.,
              For over a week now,  AVAST reports Propinoy-Net  as
              safe-haven for  a trojan horse.

              “Threat has been detected”  as AVAST blocks.

              • cocoy ,

                i suspect false positive.  Am keeping my eye out though.

              • Bill Davis ,

                I have to admit that I have not seen or read Shamcey’s answer. But I find this discussion interesting. For sure, Cocoy is right that there isn’t any “right” or “wrong” answer, since they apparently asked her, “Would you… ?” so it’s up to her to say what she would or would not do. It was an opinion seeking her opinion.

                On the philosophical or religious side of the question, I’ll toss this into the mix for discussion:

                I propose that for any who have faith in God, God by very definition should occupy the most important place and be the one whose will is considered and obeyed above all others, including the desires (romantic or otherwise) of the one who claims to have faith. Otherwise, God is not really God, but only a convenient sort of construct, and it becomes difficult to argue that the faith is life-changing in nature.

                Thoughts? =)

                • cocoy ,

                  I find it hard to reconcile a merciful God who asks to chose between Him and love.  Isn’t love suppose to be good? And if so, shouldn’t God say, go for it?  I mean, a merciful God understand us, right?  And knows how strong that faith is? It isn’t an even-or thing, imho. 

                  • Bill Davis ,

                    Good question, and it touches on broad issues. I’m glad to discuss it with anyone (although I wouldn’t claim to have infinite knowledge!) but it seems beyond the scope of a comment forum such as this =)

                    • cocoy ,

                      Agreed, Bill! 

                • Joe America ,

                  Cocoy, superb article. Very important
                  perspectives. I think of the soldiers who die for their country and
                  the faithful who die for their God and the men who will step between
                  a threat and their wives/kids, to the death. And I think how easy it
                  is for so many men to skip town on the kjds they have fathered, and
                  the mothers. And it pisses me off that Filipinos are not outraged and
                  laws and courts give ZERO consideration to those abandoned. There are
                  way too many macho dickheads about, and too much crooked thinking
                  from the insensitive Church and powerful people bonging a mistress.

                  As for the beauty pageant, all the
                  answers from all the girls were contrived pap, presenting otherwise
                  intelligent people as air headed bimbos posturing for the judges. It
                  is rather like the difference between looking sexy and being
                  legitimately hot. Or between plastic and porcelain. I thought Miss
                  Philippines should have won myself, on beauty and character. But,
                  hey, life is still good . . .and the orb keeps spinning . . .

                  • Anonymous ,

                    That thought —  the courts imposing legal responsibilities (or else, JAIL!!!)  to the biological father and the biological mother — may be another reason that Pilipinas Congress keeps avoiding the issues of Reproductive Health  as well as Divorce.

                  • J.Uy. ,

                    “strikes a cord”?
                    “tag of war”?

                    • Manuelbuencamino ,

                      I think the winning answer was I would leave my religion and marry him for the sake of world peace and the environment.

                      • cocoy ,

                        That’s probably true. 

                        • Manuelbuencamino ,

                          and animal rights din nga pala

                        • Bill Davis ,

                          Oh and you left out dolphins, baby seals and how she should have batted her eyelashes while saying “World Peace.” =)

                        • Manuelbuencamino ,

                          I think she lost because she answered in English. 

                          • AnnaBanana ,

                            It was her answer and she handled that with class and dignity.  She showed she answered not to please the Judges and the world, but to show everybody that she is not a hypocrite.

                            Would you move mountains for love?  I think her answer proved she WOULD! That as of that very moment, when the Judge asked her that question, she in her heart believed that love for God is greater than any other love.  She chose God, not man.  And if for that reason she was deemed “cheesy” well, then it is just unfortunate.

                            • cocoy ,

                              I suppose, from that point of view, that’s true too.  Like I said, there isn’t any right or wrong answer in this instance.  

                            • GabbyD ,

                              ” At the heart of the Shamcey question was a timeless question: “Would you move mountains for love?””

                              the heart of the question isnt that; its “would u change yourself for love?”

                              i think wisdom of the ages has answered that question in the negative. we shouldnt lose ourselves for anything, even romantic love. 

                              even rory and amy would agree. note your quote: ““You’re Amy.  He’s Rory.  And, oh yes, I am”.” the idea is that no matter how long amy was trapped, she was still AMY, and he, still RORY. all she needed to do is remember (memory is another theme of dr who. remember the finale of last season?) who she was.

                              the lesson, to borrow from meatloaf: “do anything for love, but dont do that (lose yourself!)”

                              back to shamcey, she clearly believes that her faith makes her shamcey. 

                              this is a huge philosophical question — what makes you , YOU? 

                              • cocoy ,

                                A bit out of topic.  

                                Amy Pond in a nutshell is “The Girl Who Waited”.  Distilled to simplicity, that’s who the character is.  This episode of Doctor Who is about her, and all about her, as much as it fits perfectly with the grand theme of series 6— “if you know the future, could you change destiny?” Going back to this episode, Who is Amy Pond?  Simply put, Amy Pond is amazing.  We see that she’s not just any other companion.  She’s super smart.  So smart she could build a sonic probe, reprogram the Interface and even those robot-whatchamathingies.  She understands time and space.  She’s kick-ass with a sword.  And she doesn’t give up. We see so much of her in River Song.     We also see the dynamic of her character, and what her relationship with the Doctor is, and Rory, and how that relationship is different.  We see a recurring theme in Rory and Amy’s love story.  They both waited for each other.  Rory— two thousand years in series 5.  In series 6, 10 years he waited, until, Melanie says, “The penny drops”, and Amy realizes Rory fancied her.  

                                In the greater context of this series, we see the Doctor fighting to change the future— his future.  And we see that underlying theme in The Girl Who Waited.  And the metaphysical questions, “Can the future be rewritten?”  “What are the implications?  Are we killing ourselves if we didn’t experience that divergent timeline?”