Dishwashing, A chore for both genders?
The play Bakit Babae ang Naghuhugas ng Pinggan by Filomena Colendrino has presented ongoing issues from the past that is still rampant today. It has been numerously adapted into comedic plays throughout the country. While maintaining a satirical and comedic tone of the play, the story gave the readers an understanding that womens actions should not be restricted just because of societys mentality In connection to this, the paper will also discuss gender roles of the wife and husband; the supernatural beliefs of the Filipinos; and the accustomed nosy neighbors.
Since the beginning of time, the mentality of people is set about what tasks should men and women do. Men should be the ones working, while women should just stay at home. In the play, Ka Ugong, the husband of Ka Maldang, is defending himself by saying that it is not his job to wash the dishes because as a wife it was Ka Maldangs duty. In the story, it was portrayed that Ka Ugongs job was to plow the field with a carabao, while Ka Maldangs job was to clean the house, wash the clothes, and cook for their meal. Both of their work have a different hardship and washing the dishes just adds to the burden. Ka Maldang has a strong personality and would not give up without a fight. That is why she refused to submit to her husbands imposition of who should wash the dishes. She stood firm with her belief that they should take turns with washing the dishes and opposed her husbands reasoning that she should do it because it was her task as a wife.
Filipinos have a lot of beliefs that were made long ago, but the beliefs are still being believed to be true. Provinces still have a strong grip on belief in the supernatural. Some places still have folk healers or quack doctors. In the play, they insisted to call the quack doctor because they thought Ka Maldang and Ka Ugong were possessed by an evil spirit. The quack doctor performed the ceremony to eliminate the evil spirit, even though there was nothing to eliminate. The neighbors would follow every order of the quack doctor thinking that he knew what he was doing. The albularyo, as they call him, was revealed to be futile as he actually had nothing to cure the couple of.
Every neighborhood has nosy neighbors who just keep on intruding into somebody elses life. Half of the play, there were uninvited neighbors inside their house. Despite their goal to help the couple eliminate the evil spirit, they should not have entered without approval. Throughout the whole scenario, Ka Maldang was furious. However, she sealed her lips tight and tried to prolong her patience. The neighbors are exerting efforts, even though the couple did not really need their help. The reason why the wife, Ka Maldang actually lost the bet was due to the neighbor’s intrusion. Though this does not answer the question in the title of the play, this is an example that Filipinos tend to stick their nose into other people’s business.
The play Sa Pula Sa Puti written by Francisco Soc Rodrigo, also raised a social issue while maintaining a comedic theme. Both plays took advantage of a satirical tone of writing to pique readers interests. Moreover, both plays successfully shed light on the different adversities that society is facing today. Bakit Babae ang Naghuhugas ng Pinggan also exhibited early-living Filipino men and womens grip on beliefs such as faith healing and the presence of nosy neighbors in the community. With plays such as both stated earlier, people can be more aware of the manifestation of different social issues that the society seeks to eradicate.
Why Women Wash Dishes by Filomena Navarro Colendrino. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from