Since when slapping is the cavalier’s way to resolve a conflict? Ask Mar Roxas and his rival Digong Duterte that question. From a lowly street bully as well as to big time warlords, manly conflicts are resolved by action that results pain on both sides. Compared to a gunfight or fistfight, slapping does not really have the potential to inflict damage. Do Mar and Digong really mean to slap each other? Isn’t slapping unmanly? Merely imagining Mar and Digong slapping each other ala Sharon Cuneta and Cherie Gil in Bituing Walang Ningning, would send us to the floor laughing. It’s a political hilarity to the maximum!
How about male slappers? In early Philippine movies about the Japanese occupation, I’ve seen scenes where Japanese male soldiers slapping Filipino civilians and Japs military officials slapping fellow soldiers under their command. Slapping the face is an ordinary form of discipline, especially among Japanese Army, while among Filipinos it is an insult. To the captive guerrillas, I was told by my grandfather, that it is more honourable to die by bayonet or a bullet than being slapped repeatedly in the face. The “acceptability” and application of slapping can differ from one culture to another.
In the Philippines, slapping is socially unacceptable even in situations confined only to our homes, for instance, when parents seek to punish our children though domestic slapping galore does happen. Slapping, from dominant male Filipino mind sets, no matter how bad it is, is reserved between two married (or in a relation) men and women. Slapping is only acceptable in Philippine culture when young women shield themselves from undesirable sexual advances. Maybe to people like Mayor Digong and Mr. Mar, people belonging to the upper echelon of society, slapping is considered a grave affront to man’s honor and dignity. But to a common man in the slums or the rural area, slapping another man is a little bit “yucky” if not unmanly. To men of achievements like Mar Roxas and Rody Duterte, being slapped is a big shame to the perceived honor and the present fine status they are presently in as distinctive presidential aspirants of this great nation of ours. The slap that gives shame is what they both want to give to each other, if they truly mean what they say. Rody and Mar are adhered to a doctrine called Lex Taliones and that would bring bad example to their most ardent supporters, specially the youth, no doubt.
Duterte and Roxas displayed manhood showing their true colors as human male species. Theirs are pseudo-strong manhood that retaliates against dishonor to return slap for slap. Contrary to what the Great Leader have taught us. He who was born in a lowly manger and later called Prince of Peace...