Jan 06
MY HOUSE HUSBAND: A SIDE MIRROR TO MOST FILIPINO FAMILIES by Isabel Sebullen  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, Jan 6, 2012

Being a house husband is no longer new in this generation as millions of housewives are going abroad to earn money for their families. In the past, in a Filipino tradition-bound patriarchal culture, it is typical that the wife is the home maker while the husband is expected to be the breadwinner. But time changes, a patriarchal culture fades as women are now working as bread-winners, and most husbands accept the reversal of roles of doing household chores to make both ends meet. Of course, not all men can accept the reversal of roles, so when their egos are being affected, they result to womanizing and spend all the money that their spouses send for the family just to show they are still the boss. There are so many sob stories involving husbands left behind, who gets involved with the family housemaids, bar girls, or anyone just to show supremacy over their wives. The set-up of a man being a house husband is not fully accepted by our society.

My House Husband: Ikaw Na! may not mirror everything that is happening to Filipino families, but somehow, it is just like the side mirror that reflects what is happening to a lot of husbands and wives not only in this country but to Filipino families residing abroad. The reversal of a couple’s roles is presented in a funny way in the movie, so watching the film will make you forget the problems of the world, but after watching it ,the serious message will begin to sink into your consciousness. The movie shows a reality that sometimes most of us ignore but is really happening to most families.

According to Connie Veneracion (2009), it is rooted in our culture to expect men to be strong and virile and full of that take-charge attitude, expectation of the society is often overbearing and overwhelming and totally misunderstood. That is why when a man finds himself jobless, it is really difficult to show he is still in control.

My House Husband: Ikaw Na! is a unique movie since it tackles something serious in a hilarious way. Director Jose Javier Reyes was successful in presenting this simple story that tackles a serious problem in an entertaining way so no wonder the movie got the 4th place among the top grossers.

The Synopsis of My House Husband: Ikaw Na!

The screenplay was written by Jose Javier Reyes while the story was conceived by him and Mel Del Rosario.

The couple, Rod and Mia Alvarez (played by Ryan Agoncillo and Judy Ann Santos) was not prepared for the major changes that took place in their lives. Rod is a bank manager while Mia chose to be a housewife, taking care of their two children. For Rod, it was the role of the man to provide for his wife and children and that the wife should manage the household and care for the children.

But when the bank he was working with merged with a larger bank, he found himself jobless as he was overqualified for other jobs. Rod’s pride prevents him from telling his wife the truth, but eventually, the secret was discovered. When he could not find employment, he had to agree to take care of the house and the two kids after their house help had to leave for an emergency vacation.

Being a bank manager, it is unthinkable for Rod to do the household work, but the situation does not give him a choice. Mia’s career in selling insurance begins to blossom. Mia found out that she has the potential to do her task very well.

Rod befriends theirnext door neighbor Aida (Eugene Domingo) who is a kept woman of a rich man who would occasionally visit her and her son to spend the night. Rod found her to be a different woman who only wants someone to take care of her and provide for her and her son a good future. Through Aida, Rod was able to accept the fact that there is really nothing wrong being a house husband.

Rod could sense that Mia’s family is belittling him, especially Mia’s arrogant brother-in-law Henry and sister Cynthia, who actually offered to help, thus making him feel more inferior. As Mia’s career is improving, Rod realized that there is a reversal of roles between the two of them.

At the end, Rod decided that he will not be a house husband forever. He decided to try his luck broad and go to Canada. Mia willingly agreed to give up her work and prepare for the family to move elsewhere. Rod discovered that his wife was willing to give up all her dreams especially her career to become a housewife again in the foreign land.

But Rod finally found a job and he decided that if it would make Mia happy to keep her work in the insurance agency, then she should be given the chance to look for her own identity. Even Aida, now abandoned by her benefactor, has found greater self-assurance and worth when she stopped depending on the kindness of others to give meaning to her life.

Ryan and Juday acted naturally in the movie, being a real life couple, they do not need to act, but essay their life as husband and wife. Eugene Domingo is not over-acting, here, unlike in Enteng ng Ina Mo, where she is a bit offbeat. Here, she played a smart but dumb kept woman of a tubercular rich man, who happens to have a lot of mistresses. The story is not spectacular, yet, there is a message that is loud and clear: husbands and wives must stick to their vow of togetherness, at all costs, for marriage is not simply about love, it is more on partnership and commitment. Husbands who happen to be in the same predicament with Rod, must accept the reality and forget about their ego. The reversal of the roles does not make them less of a man, for a woman’s role being housewife is more demanding compared to office jobs.

The income earned by the movies participating in the Metropolitan Manila Film festival has nothing to do with artistry. Enteng ng Ina Mo, the top grosser is an insult to our sensibilities. The movie is inferior in so many ways, especially the story. But movie goers don’t care about artistry anymore. They watch the movie just for relaxation. And from there, what can we expect? The market is the one dictating the kind of movies they want producers to produce. Sometimes the movies with good stories are often getting less in terms of box office.

My House Husband: Ikaw Na! may not be as titillating as Enteng Ng Ina Mo in the box office, but for sure, it is very much entertaining.

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