Mala Malu, Nuestra Senora de la Matapobre

I disagree with and his otherwise worthy anti-Malu campaign, on one, single, point of principle: I’m not for firing people on the basis of what they write. So boycott as you please, but I don’t support having anyone fired. Why not take her travel photos and run a Mala Malu photo caption contest instead? Loads of fun and extremely educational.

Here, you can play with these charming photos and add your own captions:



This all reminds me of something I noted on November 4, 2006, concerning the daughter of a Singaporean MP who snapped, “please get out of my elite uncaring face” in response to the angst of another Singaporean. Revisit muddynights and then see the odd joker and The Intelligent Singaporean, and then top off your visit to Tomorrow.

The Spanish have a maxim for everything, but for cultivated Filipinos of an older generation, one of their all-time favorites (my father used to quote it to me whenever he thought I was being rude) was:

Lo cortes no quita lo valiente.

It means: One’s valor is never diminished by one’s courtesy. But of Mala Malu and her que asco columns, I think I’ve found a word our elders would have thought fitted her to a “t”: a more cursi set of opinions would be hard to find.

Thanks to this great find, you don’t have to guess what our elders meant by using that word –cursi– to describe the Mala Malus of their generation:

In his book Cassell’s Colloquial Spanish, A. Bryson Gerrard explains his British take on the word:

“A colloquial but widely used adjective meaning something like ‘socially pretentious’; it describes people who give themselves the airs of a higher social class, non-U pretending to be U. When applied to things, e.g. furniture of clothes, it contains the idea of noveau-riche. High-class houses in the best Spanish tradition are furnished with an aristocratic simplicity and restraint, and the gaudy, ornate Empire-style furniture which you sometimes find in city apartments would be described as cursi. I once heard a Spaniard say of a friend’s tie iQué corbata más cursi! He was being facetious but i wondered what an Anglo-Saxon might have said … ‘What a fancy tie!’ … ‘What a pansy tie!’ … perhaps ‘What a ghastly tie! since it was not a compliment. Affectation, pretentiousness, excessive ornamentation are all involved.”

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

252 thoughts on “Mala Malu, Nuestra Senora de la Matapobre

  1. Arnold: Malu Fernandez really is a caricature! She’d be right at home in the pages of Noli and Fili — probably a matapobreng matandang kapatid ni Kapitan Tiago or some other

    Donya Victorina, bagay na bagay!

  2. Hello everyone, it’s Thanksgiving Day! I’m enjoying my extra day off, and I am planning to doing something fun that’ll probably involve a moto trip and seeing something new in Blythe I haven’t seen yet.
    You write new post at Thanksgiving?

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