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Opinion

Dearest Lola Nidora: An open letter about Yaya Dub's OOTD


Dearest Lola Nidora,

Let me start by saying that I have come to appreciate you and the kalyeserye. I may not be a die-hard fan, as I don't get to see you every day, but as a young journalist who's emotionally-attached to my phone, I am aware of the phenomenon. And whenever time permits, I tune in for the laughs and the story.

What I like most about your segment is the boundaries you set for Yaya Dub and Alden, your emphasis on courtship, love, and the beauty of waiting. These are old-school values often forgotten by our generation. With the piles of broken hearts, quick relationships, and too many labels, your reminders ought to be heard.

But with due respect, there's something I would like to point out to you, too.

I happened to catch your episode today, when Alden was going to pay his first visit to your mansion. I was ecstatic, along with the many, many fans, because you finally allowed him to see Yaya Dub there.

You were hands-on with the preparations, and that included Yaya Dub's outfit of the day (OOTD), of course. There was a point when your sisters, Tinidora and Tidora, pointed out that you might make Yaya wear something that would make her "balot na balot."

In response, you said that was only proper. You asked your sisters, "Nakakita na ba kayo ng balot na balot na sinutsutan?"

There was a slight, awkward pause. Then Tidora replied, "Meron."

I don't know if you heard her, because I switched channels for a moment. But here's something you need to know.

I, along with female officemates and friends my age, go to work dressed appropriately. You may think we are a generation of short shorts and mini-skirts, but students and young professionals abide by dress codes, too. I, for one, usually go to work in jeans and plain shirts or blouses.

Regardless of what we wear, many of us have received catcalls from random men on the streets. One day, it could be an all-too-friendly neighbor, a tricycle driver down the block, a pahinante in a passing truck, a vendor pushing a cart of fruits. Sometimes, men dressed for office work do this too while we're waiting at jeepney, bus, or FX stops.

They make us bow our heads when we walk, if only to avoid their gaze. They ruin our day with a loaded "Good morning" or "Hi, miss." It doesn't matter if we're clothed literally from neck to ankle or if we're in pretty little dresses or shorts and crop tops. It happens.

This, perhaps, is also part of old-school mentality. Unfortunately, this one has lingered -- a deeply-rooted problem that sometimes seems to be beyond fixing.

But maybe it can still be fixed, and maybe you can help, Lola. Perhaps, instead of simply asking Yaya not to wear shorts, or whatever else that reveal more skin, maybe you can also talk to Alden.

He seems to be a sweet young man, so maybe through Alden, you can remind everyone that guys need to respect girls regardless of what they feel like wearing for the day.

Maybe you can remind him that catcalling is not a form of admiration, but of disrespect.

Maybe you can remind him that respect is just as important as his affection for Yaya Dub. That his love, as he tries to prove it to her -- and to you -- must come with this.

And here's hoping many others will hear you, too.

Love,

Aica
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