Public display of affection means BBM approves LAM’s wrath?

By Alex P. Vidal

“You must have anger, as rightful wrath is what makes you create your own ethical standards.”— Kamal Haasan

THERE can only be two reasons when some celebrities or prominent couples suddenly indulge in public display of affection or PDA especially when we lest expect them to perform it.

Either they wanted to belie rumors their union is on the rocks, or they wanted to send a curt message. Or both.

If we can read between the lines, the most recent photo of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and First Lady Marie Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos (LAM) posted online and published in several newspapers during their 31st wedding anniversary in La Union, could be a PDA meant to deliver a laconic but strong message:

“We are inseparable, stronger, and we have a common stand on various issues in life, including political matters—especially if they involve our reputation.”

Interestingly, the first couple’s PDA occurred days after First Lady LAM slammed Vice President and Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio in a broadcast interview in Manila for attending a rally and laughing while her father, former President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte, called President Marcos Jr. “bangag” or high on drugs.

“She (Mrs. Duterte-Carpio) crossed the line,” barked First Lady LAM.


In the aftermath of the hullabaloo, President Marcos Jr. was palpably silent and didn’t join the fray, so to speak.

His silence could be misinterpreted he approved of his wife’s “hit job” or he was under the saya, or “under her skirt” and wouldn’t complain about anything the wife did or plans to do and say both in private and in public.

Did he allow his partner in life (hell hath no fury like a wife insulted) to do the talking for himself and the dressing down of the “uncouth” vice president because it wouldn’t look nice for a man—and a president for that matter—to lambast the person next in line for the highest position of the land?

If husband didn’t agree with the wife’s public demeanor and diatribe toward a known political ally, there would still be a wedding anniversary celebration, of course, but any PDA would be pigeonholed if tension was still nimble and fresh.

No PDA during an important occasion in the couple’s life could be misconstrued that a brewing spat has stolen the occasion’s sparkling and buoyant moment.


No partners can fake a PDA as it is an act of intimacy between a couple that is in view of others. Hugging, kissing, or holding a partner’s hand in public are some examples of PDA. Sharing a private intimate moment in a public forum such as social media can also be a form of PDA.

There are reportedly common myths about PDA. These are:

— PDA is always sexual or inappropriate. While this can be true for certain levels of PDA, most of the time, it is very light touches and kisses that are often unnoticed by others.

— PDA only happens in newer relationships. Again, this is false as we find that those in newer relationships tend to be a bit more conservative as they are more aware. Inappropriate levels tend to start happening when things are somewhat more established.

— When partners don’t participate in PDA, there is something wrong in their relationship. Wrong again. PDA is completely suggestive, and what seems to be the perfect amount for some can be too much for others.


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(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)