Titas, Titos, Aunties, & Uncles
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Everyone has them. In our country, we have an extended family. So mere friends of our parents, we call them or refer to them as aunt and uncles. There doesn't need to a blood relation for us to call them aunt, auntie, uncle, tita or tito.
When I was young, I was taught to regard elders with Uncle and Auntie, Tito or Tita, Ahia, Kuya, Ate, Achi. It was instilled in us that no matter the age - as long as they belong in the same generation - well, we need to call them such.
My mom has cousins that are just a few years older than us. Heck, she has cousins that were only months older than us! Yet, we call them - Uncle - because they belong to the same generation of my mom. We were taught to regard them as such and since I was taught that, I practice that. I grew up with family members saying Achi this Ate this Ahia that Kuya that. Uncle this Tito this, Auntie that Tita that - I was very familiar and very much comfortable throwing those *titles* out.
It was only just a few years ago, that I became comfortable being called *Aunt* or *Tita* myself. I've always regarded myself as young, but then when I had kids - I kind of expected to be called such by the children of my friends. When married I into my Panget's family - well, he had older nieces (kids of his cousins) and they called me *Aunt*. Also, when I had met new friends with older kids, well - it seems odd at first, but it still had some getting used to to be called *Auntie Didi or Tita Didi* but I accepted it with open arms. I knew they were just being respectful.
I am 35. I am not ashamed of my age. I am proud of it actually. I don't understand it when people find it offensive when they're asked of their age. I don't hesitate to reveal my age - I mean, what for? For me, it's inevitable, so why hide it. But I do respect those who don't want to divulge their age. I guess I've come to realize that people are different. Hahaha!!
When I was younger, I found it odd that the elders don't say their age when asked of it during their birthdays. Birthday candles were concealed with a long single candle. I remembered when I was younger, it was pure joy to blow so many candles! Hahaha.. I thought, maybe they found it disrespectful? I don't know, honestly. Well, I was told that it wasn't disrespectful. I guess was a ploy to *seem* younger to others. Kung, trip nila - why not?!
But my question is - Why does one to seem want to be younger than usual? I have no idea. I used to think about it, but then I realized - why even bother thinking about it. It's their problem and not mine, hahaha! I've seen sudden anger outburst when the wrong age was guessed. Hahaha!! I am serious, once I saw this lady who was soo angry at a staff for calling her Lola, when she calmed a bit the staff apologized - she said that she wasn't a lola because she didn't have kids. I even remember my mother in law - she was in denial that she was becoming an *ama* soon. It was quite weird actually, but I guess to each, their own.
I have nothing against looking young. I think Asians are generally lucky because they look younger compared to caucasians. We are lucky in that department. I know of people who has done a LOT of work on their faces and bodies - all because they didn't want to age. Well, I personally believe that if one can afford it - why the hell not?! But then when I see their faces all fixed up - they look more old than they originally were. I honestly have no idea on these *looks*, but I know of people who are notoriously observant of these. They're the ones who tell me.
Ageing is one thing that I am highly accepting of. It's inevitable. I mean, there is NOTHING we can do to reverse ageing, unless of course by some miracle, time travel is invented or cloning is perfected. Well, it has been attempted - but I don't think anyone has been successful, on humans that is!
So, why did I write this post. Well - my friend Tina was horrified that I called her friend (who is a little older than her) Auntie. I know she was just teasing me. Hahaha!! But I felt that I had to explain why I called her friend, such - because she is my mom's BFF's sister in law. So for me, they belonged to that same generation. I would be very uncomfortable calling her by her first name - I am sure that I would get dagger looks from my mom's BFF, hahaha! But that's how I am.
I didn't think that anyone would feel insulted when I called them auntie, uncle, tita or tito. I was so used to saying it that it has become second nature for me. I guess - my circle of friends is now broadening, thus I might need to be careful in uttering *auntie, uncle, tita and tito* to people. I just realized recently that people do find it offensive at times. Kanya kanya, talaga.
This discussion led me to learn that not everyone is comfortable being called *auntie, uncle, tito and tita* I'm sure there are are people to are comfortable calling people by their first name. I know that in other Western countries - aunts and unlces are called such because they're related. There is no offense in Western countries when you call them by their first names. But, in my family, even friends of my mom and *older* new aquaintances - I refer to as aunt and uncles. Even on the phone, during sales calls - I call people Aunt, Uncle, Tito and Tita. That's what I was used to growing up, and I don't think I will ever change that trait. I think for me, as long as I feel it's respectful (for me) - it's enough. I don't mean to disrespect but I guess if that person feels insulted - then it becomes their problem and not mine.
So in case you feel bad that I called you Tita or Tito or Uncle or Auntie - blame it on my upbringing. Hahaha! I swear to you, I meant no offense and instead I regarded you with great respect. Hahaha!
So, (Auntie) Tina - thank you! Just kidding! You know I love you! Hahaha... :)
Oh, and there's apparently this trend #TitasOfManila - it's quite charming now because it's being referred to something positive. Yes, we have aged - even a bit. I now belong to the generation when I am starting to get called Tita or Auntie. Hahaha!!
Panindigan na ang #TitasOfManila !!