A MARITES or “Aling Marites” is a colloquial term used to label stereotypical gossipers in our barrios or barangays. And it has become a random slang term that people use these days -- both online and in real life.

To be clear, “Karens” of the US and our “Marites” are not the same. The only thing they have in common is that the problems in both of the societies are represented by these two names.

Karens are entitled and they feel like they can get away with things that they shouldn't be able to, while Marites are spreading rumors and not really caring about the more important things in life than gossips.

And I don't know if there's any other culture that loves gossip more than Filipinos.

As human beings in general, we all want to feel like we belong. By nature, we are curious and we want to feel connected in a certain group. More so, information nowadays is a commodity. And so the more information we have and spread about someone, the more we think people will be accepting of us.

Now, I'm not saying that I am better than anyone because I talk about other people too, just like you and everybody else, so this is not a dissertation of how great of a person I am. Instead, this is a plea to stop embracing it as part of who we are as a race, because this is going to be a factor in the denigration of our society.

I implore everyone to consider at the very least, to avoid becoming a part of the Marites culture because we don't want to breed a generation that celebrates the pains, heartaches, the woes, and the vulture-like ways of hovering over other people's businesses and sufferings for our entertainment.

I know it is deeply embedded in our culture, but I'm also sure we can do better.