Before Gen Z, Pinoys used the term “tita” in addressing their aunts or any older female relative or colleague or friend.
These days, tita can pertain to any middle-aged woman whose life choices are different from younger people. Some hate the term, others embrace it.
The cast of iWant digital series “Call Me Tita,” composed of Lorna Tolentino, Angelica Panganiban, Cherry Pie Picache, Agot Isidro, Joanna Ampil, and Mylene Dizon, weighed in recently on the truths and misconceptions about titas.
“For me, a tita has her responsibilities. So, when you’re a tita, you’re like a second mom and you have to be responsible. Yes, I’m a tita because I’m capable to take care of myself, I go home early, wake up early for work. It feels good. I learned from these titas,” Angelica said at the press conference.
The youngest actress among the cast doesn’t think titas are boring. Angelica shared that among misconceptions on titas is that they are boring, go home early, and seldom go out.
Joanna, who has been a tita since she was 10 years old, said, “A lot of us actually enjoy (being called a tita). Matagal na akong tita. People think it’s hard to be a tita, but it’s not.”
Cherry Pie also wants to break the misconception that a tita’s capabilities are limited. As what the saying goes, life begins at 40, so Cherry Pie advises middle-aged women to start exploring new things.
“At this age, you can still learn new things, like, you can still play the guitar. You can be more adventurous and explore more in life. There’s this connotation that when you’re a tita, you should be resting already and that your hips are always hurting. But, when you’re in your 40s, your life is just beginning, and you have the chance to do whatever you want to do,” she said.
Agot agreed, saying they now have more freedom and financial means to enjoy life, having established their careers already.
“We enjoy everything. I have many titas, or my age, who are starting their own business and they have the financial means to enjoy life more. If they want to fix their face (through surgery), they can. If they want to travel, they will travel. Their are many choices out there for you because they have come to accept themselves,” Agot said.
Mylene, who stars in the May-December themed movie “Belle Douleur,” defended that titas are not desperate. The mother of two said titas are “not locked in a box” as there are many things they are capable of.
“We’re not desperate, this is not just in love life, but in all aspects, like in relationships, career. We have choices, we can choose. And we are capable of pursuing whatever it is that we want to do,” she declared.
Director Andoy Ranay speaks about middle-aged actresses, who are often stereotyped with mother or supporting roles.
“They actually have richer stories and character. Imagine, you’re in your mid-life, 45 years of your life, and you discover that there are still more things you can do. This is another facet in your life that you want to pursue. They have deeper or richer experiences that they can share,” he said.
Cracks and pains
On the other hand, the stars let on there are some truths to the connotations about titas, especially about their physical well-being.
Mylene shared that she easily feels sleeps so she always want to go home early.
“We would rather start our gatherings now at lunch time or brunch so that we can still attend to our other responsibilities after,” she said.
Lorna, who is now in her 50s, shared that she has long been dealing with hot flashes and body aches. The seasoned actress is not just a tita, but a proud lola.
“I’ve been having hot flashes for 11 years already. Even when you’re eating right, cholesterol and other things shoot up.
Yearly, you need to have physical exam, especially when you experience hormonal imbalance already,” she said.
Cherry Pie agreed, saying that her doctor also advised her to take care of her body as doing physical stuff is harder compared to when she was younger.
“We feel young, our spirits are young, and we feel empowered. But sometimes, for example, when you pick up a paper and you’re a tita, you have to bend a little or you’ll hear cracks. You think you’re still young yet in the middle of the game, you (feel tired),’” she said.
Angelica, who is just 33 years old, admits that her age is already catching up on her. She admits that she likes drinking but she does it not as often as before because because it’s harder for her to recover.
“To be honest, I feel that way when I drink. Before, my thinking was that I was born to drink. Now, I can’t do it anymore. It started from (drinking) every other day to weekends to now just occasionally. It’s hard for me to recover,” she said.
Andoy hopes “Call Me Tita” can empower middle-aged women to embrace themselves. “Call Me Tita,” which is about friends discovering new experiences and coming to terms with their age and life’s issues, is set to air simultaneously on ABS-CBN and iWant on Aug. 18.