Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Do You Wear Lipstick?

BIG LITTLE PEOPLE - Grace D. Chong - The Freeman

I suppose your answer is a big, loud “No!” 

If you’re a girl, you are too young to wear lipstick. If you’re a boy, well, you will avoid it like you would a plague.

But I am guessing that you (boys and girls) have worn lipstick or will wear it soon – for your school presentations like Moving-Up Day. The month of March is for activities such as this, as well as graduation ceremonies. Everyone usually wears make-up when he or she performs on stage to look good; and that includes wearing lipstick.


I am speaking about lipstick because, as I wrote in the last Big Little People, March is also National Women’s Month. And lipstick is associated with women.

In fact, lipstick symbolizes people’s definition of beauty – outward beauty, that which one can see with his eyes.


Ask your mom and other adults who wear lipstick regularly why they like putting it on. They (and I) will probably have the same answer said in different words: to look pretty.

Isn’t that the same reason why you wear it on stage and on special occasions?


Lipstick inspired my book on beauty some years ago. It’s entitled “No Lipstick for Mother.”  I wrote it as a tribute to women who do the best they can for the people they love. Originally written in English, it has been re-told in Filipino and was published as a separate book.

The story revolves around a little girl, Mayang, who is ashamed of her mother because she is no longer pretty. In fact, her mother has turned sweaty and dark, so unlike their pretty neighbors who wore floral dresses and lipstick. 

After a series of events, however, Mayang realizes the truth about beauty. It is not what one sees with her eyes, but what is in the heart – what is hidden inside, and the sacrifices a mother does for her children. 


I am re-visiting this book for this column not only because it is National Women’s Month, but because it was recently staged as a play in Cebu. And it was translated into Cebuano!

Re-titled “Wa’y Lipstick si Nanay,” it was produced by Childlink Learning Center and Childlink High School Inc. Directed by no less than the school’s directress, Maria Theresa F. Tio, the play was staged at the San Carlos Cultural Center. I was told that the story and the presentation delighted young and old audiences alike.

I sure wish I had watched it. But Manila and Cebu are a flight apart. If only I had been able to conjure a magic carpet, I’d have turned myself into Aladdin. 


What thrills me no end is the fact that, even if literature and drama are two different art forms, “No Lipstick for Mother” lent itself well to 3-D movements and songs.

Aside from speaking to readers, the book – through its Cebu staging – has been able to send the message to a live audience.  

And that message is summarized in the Bible:

“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NLT)  


Let’s continue celebrating National Women’s Month. Email me at [email protected] or visit my blogsite: www.leavesofgrace.blogspot.com.









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