The Philippines takes celebrity involvement seriously. We've seen that yet again in the Bea Alonzo-Dominic Roque breakup. Many fans and spectators have become armchair relationship experts, flooding showbiz forums and social media posts with their commentaries and (unfounded) theories, engaging in impassioned discussions about the intricacies of the high-profile split.
While we don't want to add to the noise, we can't look away when we see a woman bombarded with messages that reeks of misogyny. Too many people said the actress had "high standards," some even dropped ominous warnings about her becoming an "old maid.” Labels like "toxic" and "red flag" were shamelessly thrown around in the actress' social media comments pages. Poor Bea Alonzo, nursing a heartbreak and yet treated like this.
In contrast, comments directed at Dominic appeared conspicuously milder, (go find a better girl, he's told), making us ponder the stark double standard that seems to persist when it comes to scrutinizing female and male public figures.
What happened to the supposedly soon-to-be-married couple? The publicly available details (thanks to Tito Boy) just go like this: Bea and Dominic broke up early this year, the actress has returned the engagement ring, and her erstwhile fiance is still trying to win her back.
On Prenups, Singlehood, and Setting High Standards
Theories on Bea asking for a prenuptial agreement surfaced. Beyond wealth, a prenuptial agreement, governed by the Family Code of the Philippines, allows couples to address broader issues like custody arrangements for children and responsibilities toward aging parents.
For the sake of argument, if this is true, let it be known that Bea has all the right in the world to seek this legal document. She has been working since 2002, and she has rightfully earned whatever is in her bank account today. She can also formalize arrangements she may need, given her stature.
Bea has also been called out for setting high standards. Some netizens were in an 'I told you so' mode to Dominic, emphasizing that the actress was out of his league from day one, while Bea had dozens of unsolicited advice to lower her standards if she wanted to find a match.
Just so you know, Bea Alonzo, like any individual, has the right to set standards and expectations in her relationships.
The notion that having high standards is a flaw is fundamentally flawed in itself. She is entitled to seek compatibility and shared values in her romantic partnerships. These standards are not indicative of an inability to settle, but an expression of self-respect.
The public commentary doesn't end there. Bea is supposedly at fault for the breakdown of all her relationships, just because she has had too many heartbreaks. Her past relationships, notably with Gerald Anderson and Zanjoe Marudo, have been dissected with speculative judgments. We're all not privy to the details of her past loves, but can't we consider that her real fault could be, uhm, picking the wrong guy?
And lest we forget, Bea Alonzo is one of the best actresses of her generation. Beyond her failed relationships, Bea is a highly-skilled, multi-awarded actress and dedicated advocate for various causes. Her success transcends the confines of her relationship status. Her achievements, talents, and contributions to society should stand independently, unobscured by her personal romances.
Ageism Has To Stop
Yes, Bea is 36, and marrying at this age, or later, is not a crime. More Filipinas are marrying late, based on a Philippine Statistics Authority study. The 2022 data showed that the median age of marriage was 28 years old for women, a year older than the previous year.
You can marry at 40, 22, or 60. Bea can cancel a wedding if she feels like it. The insinuation that Bea's age might hinder her from finding a suitable match is an unfair judgment. Age should never be a factor in assessing one's capacity for love or commitment. Ageism perpetuates harmful stereotypes and contributes to the toxic culture surrounding women in the public eye.
If people are worried about her ability to procreate because of her age, well, surprise! Science is on her side. She has the resources to freeze her eggs. She also has the option if she doesn't want kids, and that won't make her any less of a woman.
The public's reaction to Bea's personal life is unfortunately indicative of persisting misogyny. The ensuing public discourse revealed more about societal biases and gender expectations, with Bea unfairly scrutinized for her choices (public or speculative), personal or professional.
When everyone has moved on from this controversial breakup, may the next conversation be about what needs to change: dismantle the oppressive narratives that continue to restrict women to predefined roles and standards.
We can't wait for Bea to get over this soon, and recover like a strong, independent woman she has always been.