passions, Pinay Ako!, psychobabble

In the “kikay” of the beholder…

It’s Sunday. For most people, Sunday is “Family Day.” For Pinoy kids, today is Jollibee Day! Yay! It’s what they look forward to after church. If you ask me, the only way to get kids off the Internet and go to church these days is if there’s a promise of Jolly Spaghetti afterwards. I know! It’s kinda sad, really. How about spaghetti AND Chickenjoy, right?

In my family, it’s also a day to indulge in our kakikayan. “Kikay” is a Filipino feminine slang for “girly,” typically used to mean someone who likes to play dress-up and is ย handy with a mascara wand. As I grappled with an apt translation, the first thing that entered my mind was “vain,” but then I realized that when somebody says, “Ang kikay niya, ‘no?” the person almost always says it with an affectionate smile–not a smirk. The word seems more associated with “fun” and is devoid of the superficiality of its English counterpart.

Check out my kikay nails this Sunday! The shade is called "Romeo & Juliet."

Sundays at home are amusing. If you visit us on a Sunday, you will find Mama and Papa at the back terrace, dyeing the graying strands off each other’s hair. My sister will most likely be on her way out to her favorite neighborhood salon. As for me, I’ll be in my room, mixing and matching outfits.

A "relaxed" weekend for my older sister ๐Ÿ™‚

Maybe it’s our way of pampering ourselves after a long week of hard work. Or maybe, it’s our coping mechanism for this psychological trauma also known as “Monday.” ย I can’t explain it, really. I guess that we were simply raised in a home where going to church is the same as looking your best. No, it’s not for the benefit of people in church. It’s also not just because of the idea that we’re “presenting ourselves before God.” It’s more like… if I don’t look well put-together, wouldn’t that reflect badly on my Father?


Note to reader (if there’s any): You don’t have to agree with me, but please don’t let this blog entry be an issue of “religion.” I am highly tolerant of differences in beliefs, so please maintain an attitude of respect if you wish to comment. I would really appreciate it if you could share your Sunday family practices–from the simple to the unconventional. Or if you could respond to “How kikay are you?”


3 thoughts on “In the “kikay” of the beholder…

  1. I think the word “kikay” is mostly used by Tagalog-speaking people to refer to beauty. We, Visayans , mostly use the word to refer to being sassy, vibrant and funny.
    I can’t help but comment about the “religion” issue. Since I am not Catholic, I don’t believe in that last sentence you wrote. Pulling yourself together physically does not matter to God. This is the reason why Jesus was angry and called the Jewish priests hypocrites because they look good in the inside, but their hearts are far away from God. They look pulled together, even doing religious acts so that others will see them as “good people” but in the inside they are harboring evil , greed and bitterness. Jesus called them “unclean.” (Matthew 23: 25-28). God doesn’t look at how you look from the outside—which the world and men value. God looks at your heart which most men and the world fail to see. If people look put together physically but they show contempt, unforgiveness, and greed to others—-that actually would mar God’s reflection and therefore does not glorify God. So how could be looking good on the outside could reflect goodness of our God ?

  2. Hi, Bingkie! I’m genuinely glad that you raised this point, because it gives me a chance to make clear that I wasn’t promoting outer beauty OVER inner beauty with this entry. In retrospect, I guess that at the time I wrote this, especially that last sentence, I was thinking at a more personal level, as in one of my own ways, among others, of honoring God. Of course, I didn’t mean that people who don’t care much for appearances are not honoring God.

    I’m not Catholic either. I’m a non-denominational Christian. Everyday, I praise God for granting me the grace to hold no feelings of contempt, unforgiveness, greed, and other ugly emotions which, unfortunately, are prevalent in this world. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now, to answer the question “So how could be looking good on the outside could reflect goodness of our God?” my opinion is that we’re all children of God, and if we look good, it magnifies God’s goodness.
    Even for earthly parents, when their children are wandering about unkempt, it reflects poorly on them… as if they don’t take care of their kids.
    In my other blog (, I wrote, “I work with what I have, showing my appreciation to God by taking very good care of it, and more importantly, strive to be a better person each the day.” That entry was actually inspired by “In the ‘kikay’…” I hope you get to read it, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I explored the topic, “Is ‘pretty’ unholy?” after remembering how a person who used to attend our church told me that women shouldn’t be wearing make-up to church.

    Thanks for your insights! I truly appreciate them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hi Rachel, I didn’t raise that question to you…hehehe….I was making a point to my previous statement ….If looking good is what we all aspire for and our focus before attending church services, then how could it reflect goodness of our God , if we don’t show genuine love, kindness and forgiveness to others? —My question was , sorry, incomplete in sentence and unclear.
    I don’t mean primping up yourself is unholy. But if we all stress on the importance of good looks before showing ourselves to God, then God is not pleased. We are called to just enjoy His presence and goodness and not stress out to look good before we worship Him.
    I learned that God accepts and welcomes people , even if they look shabby and unkempt, as long as their heart is right and pure in their devotion to God. As I’ve said , He does not look into the physical. So now my question is; so if a poor, shabby man dressed in rags with a heart full of love for God and others, does that reflect “poorly” on our God?” Remember that earthlings are not God and God cannot be compared to man’s standards.
    I used to be a person who judges people on their physical characteristics—the way they look, the way they dress, etc…and when I learn of God’s goodness, I totally became changed in my outlook about judging other people. I remember our pastor said, that we should not judge people, esp. about their looks, because we never know what they might be in the future. They may be the future Bill Gates or Kate Middleton. I don’t believe in comparing God that when kids are shabbily dressed reflects God’s goodness and character. Human beings do that but not God.
    Actually, to emphasize, I am not saying that beautifying yourself is unholy or sinful. All I’m saying is , if this is our concern before coming to God and worshipping Him, this is not right.
    In the church I attend , people of all “styles” come together —-you’ll be shocked—guys with tattoos and piercings, girls in Mohawk hairstyles, mini skirts, men in pajamas, people in flipflops, women wearing Tokyo fashion, wearing rugged shirts, torn jeans, scruffy boots, scary make-up, costumey clothes of their home country, etc……but nobody cares in the church and everyone is welcomed because they all came there not to have a fashion show but to worship God together. The church I attend is this–>

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