Tiga-saing, Tiga-laba, Tiga-linis (TIGASIN) – basically a house husband (Filipinos also call it ‘houseband’). These are typical activities of husbands whose wives are in the workforce, a succinct example of gender role reversal, which turns gender stratification upside down.
As hard as it may seem, the Philippines is a patriarchal society that dates its origin in the Spanish era, as evidenced by the term ‘padre de pamilya’ pertaining to the head of the family. With this hard-core belief come the different roles and responsibilities assumed by the ‘man’ in the house, such as the decision-maker, the provider, the strongest, among others. This introduces the idea of gender stratification whereby men are on top of the strata who hold dominion over the lower caste members. In this case, a man who is considered the head of the family but exercising the roles and responsibilities of a woman will seem unacceptable, more or less questionable. For instance, a ‘man’ becomes questionable if he cooks for the family (tiga-saing) if he does the laundry (tiga-laba), if he cleans the house (tiga-linis), etcetera – a TIGASIN (a house husband). I remember my mother judging one of our neighbors in the province whose wife was working abroad. My mother would tell us: “Tignan ninyo iyan, napakatamad. Hinahayaan niya ang kaniyang asawa na magtrabaho.” In retrospect, my mother’s mindset subscribes to the traditional notion of gender roles, of gender stratification.
The aforementioned example is still typical in the Philippines. A dad who is ‘TIGASIN’ is still frowned upon, which is impractical, especially in these trying times. If the wife can earn more than the husband, why would she stay home and take care of the household? In this day and age without ego or gender stratification, I believe that being practical to survive is better than believing in a tale (gender stratification) as old as time.
By: Joseph B. Quinto
This article is published under the “timek ti umili” format, a contribution piece from one of our readers. The article are submitted with the author’s assurance that its contents are free from plagiarism and copyright infringement. While we do enforce measures to prevent the publication of pieces that are plagiarized and violates works of others, some may get past us. If you have any copyright claim on the contents of this article, please inform us along with proof of your ownership of the written material for our appropriate action.
The opinions and suggestions contained in this article are solely of the author and doesn’t necessarily reflect the stance of Baguio Herald Express management and staff. This article does not replace professional advice. Baguio Herald Express assumes no liability for the completeness, relevance and correctness of the content and recommendations in the article.