04 Oct In Defense of Mistresses



By: Carla Bianca V. Ravanes
Here’s to set the record straight: I don’t like mistresses. I don’t like what they represent and I don’t like how most of the time they ruin families, along with themselves. I don’t like them, I don’t like the idea of them, but let me tell you one thing, I cannot for the life of me, hate the women who become mistresses.
I firmly believe that young girls wake up one day in the hopes of becoming a mistress. Nobody wishes to become that person, the person who constantly begs for love, attention, and most importantly, worth from the elusive man they will never have. As you grow older, you realize that things are not as black and white as we want them to be. Of course, there is always a choice, but we fail to forget that everybody has a different story to tell and sometimes choices are not as easy as we claim for them to be.
These thoughts have been running through my mind since the trailer for the Etiquette for Mistresses came out. For one thing, I have always been a huge Claudine Baretto fan and that was enough for me to want to see the movie. I easily dismissed it as another one of those stories about the other woman that has been gaining traction in Philippine cinema and television as of late but what piqued my curiosity is the fact that the book was penned by Julie Yap – Daza. As a child, I recall pouring over columns and it would be nice to see her thoughts transformed on the movie screen.
I expected a lot of things from the movie, you know the typical things you would expect from a movie that had ‘mistress’ in the title but the one thing I didn’t expect is the fact that it actually propelled feminism towards the end. Without boring you with the details, the movie dove deep into the real lives of well-pampered mistresses who actually have well to do lives of their own. Instead of seeing them as a label or a stereotype, you saw them as people. Yes, they’ve made their mistakes, but sometimes, without a logical or moral reason, some people just make choices that they think would make them happy. At the end of the day, people just want to make themselves happy and sometimes due to personal demons and reasons, they make selfish ones.
But this movie just brought me back to the reality about two things:
1) you always have a choice and
2) at the end of the day, despite the well-meaning people around you, all you have is yourself so make sure you take care of yourself and make your life full with or without them.
In understanding that, in realizing we are all we need to make ourselves whole, we become kinder to the plight of others and we open our hearts to the possibility that while the choices of others may not be the best, we have to understand that sometimes, they do it to be happy. And we become kinder and in doing so, in showing love and in being kind, we hope to make others realize the significance of loving themselves first in the hopes of breaking patterns that are destructive and yes, that includes being a mistress.


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