Wednesday, February 11, 2015

4 ways to show Mahal na Kita this Valentine's Day: Meditations on the J Dorama meme

Japanese Drama Tagalog Meme: Expensive profit as mahal na kita (I now love you)
Feb 1, 2015

I chanced upon a meme by the Japanese Drama Tagalog Meme which describes the following conversation between a young man and a young woman:
Man: Ano sa Tagalog and "profit"?
Woman: Kita.
Man: Eh, ang "expensive profit"?
Woman: Mahal na kita. (I love you.)
Man: Mahal din kita. (I love you, too.)
Mahal na Kita is an interesting phrase. Let's ponder on this phrase at different levels:

1. Operating Expense Ratio

According to Investopedia:
The operating expense ratio is calculated by dividing a property's operating expense by its gross operating income. Investors using the ratio can further compare each type of expense, such as utilities, insurance, taxes and maintenance, to the gross operating income, as well as the sum of all expenses to the gross operating income.
In other words, \begin{equation} OER = \frac{Expense}{Income}. \end{equation} Since Income - Expenses = Profit, then Income (1 - OER) = Profit.  If your OER = 1, then your profit is zero. If your OER = 0.4, then your profit is 60 % of your income.

This Valentine's day, you may wish to determine your OER before making a splurge to impress your date.  Let's say your income is Php $10,000$ per month and you spent Php 1,000 for that good dinner in a restaurant. Your OER then would be 1,000/10,000 = 0.10 = 10 %; you still have 90 % of your income left after the date. But if your income is Php 100,000 per month, then an expense of Php 1,000 this Valentine's Day would give an OER of 1,000/100,000=0.01 = 1 %. That is, you still have $99\%$ of your income intact; you can afford to treat her again.

2. Parable of the Lost Coin

The Tagalog word "kita" also means "to see" while "mahal" can also means "to love" or "to give value"--something like "My Precious", as Gollum would say. So "Mahal na Kita" is "To see something that you value."  A good example of this is the Parable of the Lost Coin:
“Or what woman having ten coins* and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’ (Lk 15:8-9)
This parable may be interpreted to describe how God rejoices in the conversion of one sinner.  But this Valentine's day, we can interpret this as follows: a man can have many possessions--house, car, job, etc--but if he lost the woman that he loves, he would continue to search for her and rejoice when he finally finds her.  As the song Maybe This Time goes:
Two old sweethearts who fell apart
Somewhere long ago
How are they to know
Someday they'd meet again
And have a need for more
Than reminiscin'

Maybe this time
It'll be loving they'll find
Maybe now they can be more
Than just friends
She's back in his life
And it feels so right
Maybe this time, love won't end

3. Pearl of Great Price

 In the parable of the fine pearl, we read:
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. 46 When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it. (Mt 13:45-46)
This parable is interpreted to describe how a man searches for God. He goes from one religion or faith system to another hoping to find God or at least something that would make sense of life and suffering.  He went to Buddhism, Hinduism, Communism, Paganism, and Atheism.  He went to Protestantism and its many sects.  He went to the Orthodox Church and the Jews. But to no avail. Then he met Christ through His Church.  He learned about God and his Angels and Saints.  He read the Catechism. He read the encyclicals of popes.  He read the history of the Church. He read the lives of the saints. So this is what the Catholic Faith teaches! he says to himself.  And he gives up his search and had himself baptized in the Catholic Church.

Mahal na kita may also be interpreted within the framework of the parable of the fine pearl: Mahal na kita is something you found after a long, arduous search that do not only rejoice in seeing it, but gives up everything in order to acquire it.  And for young men and women, this is experienced in marriage.  A woman usually gives up her surname and acquires that of a man. For some, such as Chinese girls, they have to give up their familial relationships in order to marry a non-Chinese man, e.g. they receive no share in the inheritance. And for others, they may also have to give up their religion as well, e.g. Daniel Padilla (Catholic) and Kathryn Bernardo.

4. Beatific Vision

Finally, Mahal na Kita may be related to beatific vision, since Kita is related to seeing and Mahal is something worthy of beauty and love.

In the ordinary sense, beatific vision is to be lovestruck: a lovely lady passes by and your heart stopped: she's the most beautiful woman that you have ever seen and you wish to be with her forever. As the song Pretty Woman goes:
Pretty woman, walking down the street
Pretty woman, the kind I like to meet
Pretty woman
I don't believe you, you're not the truth
No one could look as good as you
Mercy
But in the theological sense, beatific vision is to see God, which is the reward of saints:
1028 Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man's immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. The Church calls this contemplation of God in his heavenly glory "the beatific vision": How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God, . . . to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of heaven with the righteous and God's friends.604 (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
God is more beautiful than the pretty woman who walked down the street.  God is the Person--or rather, thee Persons--whom you would love to meet, because, as St. Augustine says, our hearts are restless unless they rest in God. You must believe in God, for God is the Truth Who neither deceives or intends to deceive. No one could look as good as God because God is infinitely beautiful and good.  And this brings us to the Greek ideal: the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.  (Oh, by the way, one of God's attribute is Mercy.)

Conclusions

Mahal na kita can mean four things this Valentine's day: a high operating expense, a finding of the lost, a pearl of great price, or a beatific vision.  That is, love can be an expensive date, a reconciliation to an estranged loved one, a giving up of everything, or just vision of beauty.  Loving God is the perfection of love: it is not only an expensive date, but you have to give up everything in the process of being reconciled to him, in order to have a chance to see Him as He is someday.  God can fill our heart's desire, because God is True, God is Good, and God is beautiful.


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