I try to laugh about it
Cover it all up with lies
I try and laugh about it
Hiding the tears in my eyes
Because boys don't cry
Boys don't cry
Of course, boys have been taught in school and sometimes in the family to control their emotions. Even when I was about two years old, my parents would tease me 'bakla' when I easily break into tears at the slightest instance of scolding from them. And when I didn't stop crying, they would spank me and then I cried longer and more loudly. And when they spanked me even harder, I stopped crying.
The 'boys don't cry' (BDC) article of faith in masculinity must not be taken at the surface level. Sometimes, most people view it as 'boys don't cry in public'. Only male performing artists do. Men have been stereotyped like steel and machines. I think the reason for this is that men have been viewed before as worthy of leadership roles in government, schools and other institutions. And leaders must look strong in the eyes of their followers.
Good thing times are changing now. Women can already lead and men leaders can already show their emotions to the public.
I remember my Ninong (godfather) during a gathering of NGO representatives for a government anti-poverty program. He did not know he was to be conferred with an award from us, for his contribution and undying commitment to the program. He was already in the pulpit about to give a thank-you speech, when suddenly he immediately got away into the corner hiding, crying very hard.
If my Ninong were a woman, he would still go on with the speech, even though his eyes are already turning red and wet.
If I were to amend the BDC principle, I would say that we boys don't easily cry (BDEC) and we try very hard not to cry in public (BTVHNTCIP). That's me. I don't easily cry and I try very hard not to cry in public.
Let me tell you a secret. But what strikes me to the point of breaking down into tears? So far:
- Movies about family relationships, more particularly parent to child.
- Having a another child from my wife.
- Reminiscing, most often through music, high school and college triumphs and failures.
- At the instance of my loved ones seeming to have misunderstood me.
- Related to #3, a feeling that people I look up to would misjudge me.
- Disenfranchized people further put down even to the point of being killed.
- Guilt that I have offended my God.
The latest circumstances that made me cry were a) when my son Martin graduated from his prep school with honors, b) the murder of Ka Eric Cabanit and, c) when I "sound-tripped" just this morning about my favorite songs of high school.