It’s been 4 or 5 Mondays since the new CJ was announced and the habitual absences of some senior male magistrates at the SC flag rites have become glaring.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, was chosen among the male-dominated SC magistrates. Maybe adding insult to the injury was Sereno’s age. At 52, she was the youngest and would serve 18 more years thereby closing individual hopes and aspirations on all the existing magistrates that they will become Chief Justice someday before their retirement.

The scenario above reminds me about the Filipino concept of manliness. To the Filipino male, being manly is everything. This image is associated with being called a “macho man”. In other words, the culture dictates that being macho is everything and the role of every woman is always secondary to the role of the man in keeping with his “macho” image.

By snubbing CJ Sereno for the past 5 Mondays during the SC flag rites, you would think that these male magistrates as a whole are one in saying she does not belong and their actions belie the fact  that she should not lead over them. This despite some of the associate justices’ clarification that their absences have no bearing with their work. That the people should look at their decisions rather than merely watch their behavior every flag ceremony rites at the start of the week.

In the Philippines, we have long subscribed to a patriarchal society. In other words, our culture is still traditional. For the most part of our society, we still put premium in male leadership over female governance.

Being the first lady Chief Justice in the land, the male-dominated SC justices must have felt betrayed for whatever reason. But of course, they will never admit it no matter what.

I believe it’s all about the culture of having this macho man mentality. That’s the Pinoy macho for you. He will never admit to having his ego pricked. Call it a “bruised ego” but you will never see him cry.

The Pinoy macho image belong to the traditional concept of our society. This macho image shouldn’t be associated with what makes a real man. A real man is more than being endowed physically. A real man knows the word respect and he can accept defeat graciously. A real man is prepared both to lead and serve. He puts the interest of others before himself.

Modern times call for an egalitarian society. And it’s happening around the world.

Haven’t we just had 2 woman presidents in the last 26 years?


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