Humanap Ka Ng Panget

By Atty. Farah G. Decano


“KUNG gusto mong lumigaya ang iyong buhay
Humanap ka ng pangit at ibigin mong tunay”

I can’t believe that it was thirty long years ago when this song first dominated the airwaves. It seems as if this was just recently popularized. It has become an ageless classic.  When the single was released, the listening public was treated to something new and amusing.  Who would publicly advise anyone to settle for the ugly?  For the advocates of inner beauty, this song definitely sounds offensive. The song, nevertheless, became a massive hit. The rapper-songwriter, Andrew E, must have struck a funny bone among the Filipinos that vibrated truth in our psyche as individuals and as a nation.

“Isang pangit na talagang ‘di mo matanggap
At h’wag ang lalaki na iyong pangarap
Ngunit handang-handang iwanan ka naman sa sandali”

Here, Andrew E hilariously directs the audience to lower its standards to the level of the unwanted gutter.  He informs them that only the ugly would desperately stay in a relationship because the good-looking ones won’t.   I could not ignore the unspoken rationale for his advice.  He envisaged, albeit humorously, his Filipino listeners as individuals steeped in desperation, powerlessness, insecurity and lack of self-worth.  He seemed to say that we couldnot manage the average, much less, the beautiful or the exceptional.

Contrary to the advice of Andrew E, the hideous exterior of a prospective partner does not guarantee blissful relationship.  I know of some cretin-looking males and butches who got girls only to later break their hearts.  They collected damsels who fell for them in order to redeem their repulsive physical appearance.  The difficult life of being bodily obnoxious must have led some to master the art of courtship.  They learned by heart the textbook ways to win women’s affection: (1) Exhibiting interest (ask slum book and emotionally loaded questions to spark her interest); (2) Manifesting focus as if she were the only woman in the world;  (3) Performing acts of chivalry (giving roses, opening doors and fetching  from and driving her home); and (4) Uttering sweet flattering words to her.   On the other hand, some lookers seem to be ignorant of these approaches because they don’t need these stratagems to be noticed.  Unlike their ugly counterpart, the good-looking ones are pursued.  Hence, some have no skills in wooing the object of their affection.  Some pretty people, I know, are in fact, torpe.

Kaya humanap na lang ng gwapo? No. We must dare look beyond the exterior and appearances of “rehearsed” and insincere chivalry.  Taking note of our value, we must seek someone who can assist us in achieving our potentials and thus advance our personhood. We must not settle for anyone less.

Similarly, in choosing our leaders, we must not vote for anyone who exhibit traits that are despicable. We must choose those who can elevate our civic and national pride and uplift our living conditions.

In 2016, the Filipinos were stunned by presidential candidate, Rodrigo Duterte, who used crass language in campaign speeches.  As damage control, his spin doctors justified his crudeness as being “totoong tao.”  Sixteen million Filipinos fell for this excuse. What has gotten in the minds of these 16 million for equating his insolent campaign speeches to better leadership capability?  What made them think that Mr. Duterte was a cut above the good-looking Wharton-bred economist, Mar Roxas, or the artistahing UP graduate, Grace Poe?

Naghanap ang mga Pinoy ng panget – ang asal. Brutish speech and demeanor were sufficient for the 16 million to pin their hopes on him.

Obviously, the choice of president was a reflection of our collective desperation, insecurity and lack of self-worth as a nation. We’ve been hurt by the well-mannered politicians like a jilted lover, so maybe we thought a thug would deliver on his promises.

In 2016, our standards took a deep dive.  Itong 2022, tama na ang kasuka-sukang panget, please?

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