Friday, June 26, 2015

PBB 737: The Psychology of Bromance: Kay Team Ryley ka ba o kay Team Kenley?

Even this early, a rivalry among PBB fans is in the making between two unlikely teams: Team Kenley and Team Ryley.

The formation of Team Kenly was inspired by a viral video compilation of the "bromantic moments” between teen housemates Kenzo Guttierez and Bailey May. 

The controversial video!

On the other hand, pictures that captured Bailey May’s seemingly “sweet glances” at Ryan Bacallas inspired the formation of Team Ryley! 

The controversial photos!

The videos and photos elicited strong reactions from the fans ranging from "super kilig!" to "nakakainggit!" to a shocked "whatduh!" to a disgusted "eeewww!" 

Of course, people know Ryan to be openly gay, but the immediate question many fans wanted answered was "Pati ba si Bailey and Kenzo, gay rin?" 

Does Kenzo and Bailey's bromance constitute gayness? And what in the first place is a bromance? 

Bromance is a combination of the words "brother" and "romance." Simply put, a bromance is a close emotional and platonic bond between two males.  In other words, it's a BFF relationship between straight males.

Examples of bromantic pairs include none other than Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, George Clooney and Brad Pitt, Spongebob and Patrick, and even Beavis and Butthead! 

Why do bromances happen? 

They happen because today's males are liberating themselves from traditional hypermasculine gender roles. Whereas before, men had to be tough, rough, and stoic, the modern male has now become more fearless in expressing his sensitive, gentler, and vulnerable side. Gender role expectations for males and females have now blurred, and it has now become the "in" thing for a man to be in touch with both his feminine and masculine sides. 

Males in a bromantic relationship are usually secure about their masculinity, and are therefore unashamed to shout out an "I love you, bro!" and really mean it!

Males develop a bromantic relationship because of their shared interests, complimentary personality traits, and familiarity with each other. 

Direk Jon Moll of PBB, a friend of mine, has observed that bromances may be more acceptable among males of the upper and middle socio-economic status than in males of the lower SES.  I kind of believe that, too!

Direk Jon Moll!

I think that males of the lower SES have a more challenging life to live and therefore have to savagely tough it out- both emotionally and physically in order to survive.  This means that in their hierarchy of values, it is more important for them to meet their basic needs for survival than to be all "touchy-and-feely" with their fellow males  

Going back to Kenzo and Bailey, both are the only male children in their respective families, and so, inside Kuya's house, they have become brothers to each other. 

While PBB viewers may be quick to romanticize or sexualize their affection for each other, we have to remember that Bailey is just a young prepubescent boy of 12 who is "malambing" and playful towards Kenzo just as much as he probably is towards his mom and dad. "Totoy" pa talaga siya despite looking older than his age.  Hence, let's allow him to be the "totoy lambing" that he is before his childhood runs out!  

The bromance of Kenzo and Bailey is neither homo-erotic (sexual in nature) nor homo-romantic (amorous in nature). Rather, it is more aptly characterized as homo-philiac. "Philia" and "phileo" are Greek words for friendship or affection, while "philadephia" is the Greek word for brotherly love. 

We also have to remember that Bailey has had experiences of being bullied (that is, being called names) by his schoolmates in the U.K. because according to Bailey, "he looked different from the others." He never had an older male peer to protect him from the bullies.

As for Kenzo, he himself was a bully in grade school, and he particularly enjoyed it when his classmates would laugh at the bullying he was doing.  "Sadista," in other words.

Perhaps now, being in Kuya's house, this is his chance to undo and make up for all the "evil" he did when he was younger.  His "astig" trait is now being shown in his protectiveness, care, and support for Bailey, just like how a "nakakatandang kapatid" should be towards his younger brother. This is Kenzo's chance to be a good role model and he is doing it quite well!

Now what about Bailey's allegedly sweet glances at Ryan? 

I think that Bailey's glances at Ryan are actually that of amusement, curiousity, and maybe even envy at how spontaneous, expressive, and fun Ryan can be. 

Hopefully, Bailey's interaction with Ryan will teach Bailey to become more non-judgmental, sensitive, and friendly towards people of diverse gender identities. 

Perhaps the essence of bromance is best captured by one proverb in the Bible. Proverbs 18:24 reminds us that "one who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother!"

Having a best friend is a gift from God. No matter how much we search, we don't get a best friend until God gives us one. Let's not forget that even Jesus found a best friend in John. 

John, tagged as "the disciple whom Jesus loved," would even lean his head on Jesus' chest as a show of his affection! (John 13:25) 

Jesus and John

Dogs are a man's best friend they say, but it still is better for man to have another human being for a best friend. So, to the bromance between Kenzo and Bailey, I can only express a resounding "Amen!"  I hope they become good friends and brothers for keeps!

 To learn more about bromance, watch this!

And here's more bromance for you!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Pinoy Big Brother 6th edition PBB 737 Teen Housemates!

Exciting, isn't it?  Kuya's house just opened its doors to this year's batch of teen housemates!

One requirement for PBB hopefuls is to pass my neurological-psychological examination.  This gives me a chance to be better acquainted with them and to prepare them psychologically for their entry into Kuya's house.  

So, allow me now to introduce to you the teen housemates of PBB 737 and share with you what I remember from my encounter with each of them.  

Ryan James Bacalla:  Ang Kid Sunshine ng Cebu

What I like about Ryan is that he is all friendly, optimistic, and funny.  This sunshiny kid is also a counselor like me.  When classmates have problems, they like approaching him for advise.  

Here's one funny story he told me:  One day, during class time, he was secretly texting on his cellphone when the teacher suddenly called him and asked, "Ryan, one plus one?" 

Surprised and caught off guard, he blurted out the answer "One, Ma'am!"  

The whole class burst out in laughter at his epic fail!  

Bailey May: Ang Global Gwapito ng UK

Bailey is just a kid, and a playful one at that!  If he's not playing football on the field, he's playing football on his PS3.  

Well sometimes, this kid's playfulness can get him into trouble!  For instance, he once got his foot stuck in a foul-smelling canal!  At another time, he got  himself chased by viciously snarling askals.  And then, there was this time when he stumbled into an anthill of ferocious red ants!

But there's another side to Bailey, too.  He told me that he occasionally likes to be by himself in some quiet place where he finds solace in drawing.     

Hendrix Jim B. Martin: Barrio Rapper ng Nueva Vizcaya

So here's how Jimboy described himself to me: "Astig na medyo mahiyain.  Hyper tsaka siguro pogi."  

Pogi? Well, he kind of knew that about himself even when he was a small tot.  As long as there was a camera around, this kid was always eager to pose and get his inner thug captured on photo.  

Well, all that posing practice actually paid off.  Squirming shyly in his seat, Jimboy admitted to me that he ended up as grand winner in numerous school and local pageants!  Nice! 

Ailah M. Antopina:  Faithful Daughter ng Bacolod

No, she's not the type of kid who would burn the midnight oil just to study and do her homework.  Can you guess what she loves doing instead?  Ailah loves playing street games such as Chinese garter!  In fact, she says that playing street games is a significant aspect of her young life.  

I don't meet too many people wearing a hijab, so I am intrigued by the mysterious aura it gives her.  I wonder what personality lurks beneath the cute face I see.  

Ma. Ana Kristina Kamille Filoteo: Teen Mama ng Manila

This young lady is a positive thinker and tries to think the best about people.  Even when people rub her the wrong way, she says that she's still willing to give them a second chance to prove themselves before they get stricken out of her list.  

I asked her to narrate an embarrassing memory, and of all things, she mentioned about the time that she accidentally pooped in her undies.  I replied, "Oh, that must have been traumatic for you as a child."  And she retorted,"Sa college na po nangyari yun!"

If I were eating at that time, I would have puked it all out (joke)!  But nevertheless, her embarrassing story just goes to show how Kamille can survive even the grossest of life experiences!

Barbie Concina Imperial: Doll along the Riles from Albay

Despite all the struggles she's been through, this lady has retained her jolly and optimistic demeanor.  In one of her modeling stints, Barbie remained unfazed and focused on her job despite being threatened that tomatoes would be thrown at her by the audience.

By the way, this "doll along the riles" has smarts, too!  For your information, this befreckled Barbie doll was the grade school valedictorian of her batch!  She certainly is beauty and brains for you!

Kenzo Gutierrez: Astig Athlete ng Quezon City

Kenzo isn't very good at keeping still.  In childhood, he had so much energy that he would dive into the deep end of swimming pools in wild abandon!  And whenever he was at the malls, he would get himself lost as he tirelessly roamed around!  That's the same energy that Kenzo now uses as an elite athlete for the Ateneo high school football team!

Oh, and here's a little secret:  Kenzo's high energy extends to girl-watching as well.  He admitted to me that even in childhood, he already had an eye for cute little things.  He would compliment girls by calling them "pretty." Hmm, Kenzo seems to be a natural at charming the female human species!

Edward Kyle Parado Secades: Mr. Nice Guy of San Juan

Kyle struck me as a person who would make a good friend.  He described himself to me as a compassionate and trusting person who forgives easily.  These strengths of his character however are his weaknesses, too.  Kyle explained to me that because he can be "too good," people have taken advantage of him, even to the point of  backstabbing him. 

While he's in Kuya's house, I hope that Kyle learns to create boundaries that prevent people from abusing this nice fellow's kind heart.   

Zonia Ysabel Mejia: Blossoming Beauty of Quezon City

Oh, the innocence of youth!  Still untainted by the adult standards of beauty, what 13-year old Zonia considers beautiful about herself is her "pagiging chubby at malambot." I guess that's from all the cheese cupcakes which she loves to bake for herself and others.  (She even let me try one ... ansarap!) Well, besides making her all huggable, pinchable, and pokable, I guess her chubbiness gives her more buoyancy and speed as a competitive swimmer.  

On the other hand, I asked Zonia what she might not like about herself, and her quick answer was "yung nunal ko sa mukha kasi iniisip ko na kamukha ko si ... (a politician)." 

My immediate thought was "Bakit? Cute naman yung politician na yun ha."  Of course, I just kept that thought to myself. (hehe!)

Thomas Franco Rodriguez: Totoy Smiley ng Albay

Franco's parents sold tinapa at the beach, so when Franco was a young kid, he had the opportunity of swimming at the beach everyday! Nice!

Talking to Franco, I found him to be a simple, all-smiley, and laid back kid.  

I asked him what he'd like to improve in himself and he told me that he still has to perfect his cooking skills since he sometimes overcooks whatever he's cooking. 

Well, overcooked or not, I'm sure that Franco spices up his cooking with much love!

Ylona Garcia: Ang Daldal Darling ng Australia

Ylona is undoubtedly a dynamo of a performer, having front-acted in the concerts of several big name Filipino singers.  But as superb as she is onstage, it's best that she leaves the sport of baseball alone!  

She recounted her experience in grade 5 when she joined a baseball game without knowing how it's played.  When her team mates threw the ball to her, she simply put the ball down on the ground, much to the rabid shock and frustration of her team!  

Well, Ylona really is a kooky person.  When she feels awkward, she'll start dancing or talking loudly to herself. Let's see if we can witness that strange habit of hers while she's inside the house.    

Enchong Dee: Ang Swabeng Swimmer ng Quezon City

As for Enchong Dee, I'm guessing that you know more about him than I do.  

So now that you know the housemates, let's find out how well (or unwell) they mix with each other in that glass house called "Bahay ni Kuya."  Happy viewing and God bless you all!