“This is the last 2 feet of cloth we have left. Let’s turn it into a skirt.”. This was a witty comment a friend of mine made as a scantily-clad female sashayed into the bar we were staying at. Usually, attention-striking clothes like these serve as receiving ends of either praises or boos, but that night, it was different. Maybe it was the alcohol talking, but I found the lady’s criminally short skirt quite depressing. I looked around, and I noticed the harsh reality. Most girls wore garments as revealing as the lady’s, or something as close. Although I would like to commend the girls for having the guts to dress as they please, I still felt sad, because I knew, that that girl, who was getting her butt groped by a man, who was probably a stranger, was someone’s daughter. She was the daughter of respectable people, of people who worked hard just to get her to school, get good grades, and not to gallivant around Makati in skimpy attire. Whatever happened to the Maria Clara, to the classy debutante? What happened to the binibini?

She was simple, but she had elegance around her. Modest, but she had the air of confidence. And of course, her clothes revealed only what was necessary, but she had the aura of beauty that could still catch breaths and stop tracks. This was the Filipina. She had an old world charm, a certain grace, and poise, that gave off class.

Today, Filipinas seemed to have been influenced by the magazine Cosmopolitan into believing that being liberated is the key to happiness. In this day and age where culture has been modernized, a certain amount of liberation is needed, but not to the extent where it will look tacky, almost disgusting. But that is the case. Skirts have gone higher, underwear seemed to get flimsier, and, well, it did look like the last 2 feet of cloth that was transformed into apparel. Girls today seem to be aggressive, brash, but too much of these is not appropriate.

Whatever happened to the Maria Clara, to the classy debutante? What happened to the binibini? She has lost herself in the false belief that being demure is dead, that the only way to be beautiful is to dress baringly. Sexiness is not defined in the amount of flesh a girl shows, or how provocative she moves on the dancefloor. Sexiness radiates from the inside, from the confidence that she gives when she moves and acts. The ideal Filipina should not be the stereotype Maria Clara where she is covered to the nines with layer upon layer of garment, but she is the girl who looks both respectable and chic.

I think a perfect example just walked into the bar.

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