Nothing gets more exciting than getting to hear and read the latest chika of all time. Who would want to miss the freshly served cup of the “hottest tea” in town? If there’s a need for the latest update, then, there’s on the top list of who to call.
Perhaps, you must have now got familiarized with Marites, the top source of the latest and trending happenings in and outside the virtual world. However, you might want to know these other names animated to life who you also want to get your “tsismis” on.
Look outside your window and observe the group of ladies wearing a ‘daster’, following anyone walking by with their ‘hawk-eyes’, having the unseen antenna in their heads that captures the community’s latest chika. That’s the most basic form of someone labeled as that friend willing to serve you the hottest rumor, “nature’s CCTV”. But the thing is, Mariteses aren’t one size that fits all.
As two years of the pandemic has made almost everything shift to online use, a Filipino culture took the digital leap and made Facebook a gossip avenue to every latest tea, introducing the distant relatives of Marites: Maris, Marietta, Marissa, Marisol, Marina, and Mariposa, the street gossipers turned online sensations.
First in line is the passive participant in every gossip forum who always wants to know the latest, Maris. Maris who is known for “Mare, ano tsismis? (Girl, what’s the tea?). Maris might not always be the first to catch the ‘hottest tea’, but this person always bridges the gap between the one who has the gossip and the other who should know the gossip.
When there is gossip, there is surely Marietta, with the definition of “Mare, ito pa (Friend, here’s more). Marietta is the term used whenever there’s a follow-up story or information to gossip you have been following.
Next, everyone is introduced to the friend gossiper who always has the adds on to every ‘tea’, Marissa, the “Mare, isa pa (Girl, there’s more). This is the person in every circle who shares new information as soon as the Marites of cyberspace discover the latest trend.
Who can discount Marisol? the ever-changing and always hype “tagasulsol” (provoker). If there’s a flame of intrigue among people, Marisol never lets her fan down. Always on standby to fan the flame of gossip by adding more juicy and controversial information to the already existing hot issue.
“Chika” is indeed not a “chika” without Marina, ever so curious about the development of the running gossip story. The “Mare, ano na?” (Friend, what now?) in the circle of gossipers also served as a reminder to its fellow to look out on the possible changes of the latest rumor.
And finally, we have that one friend who often says, “Mare post mo na”, (Girl, post it already), Mariposa. The person who always stays right beside Marisol, on the job to dish on someone to make the ongoing story more feast-worthy on social media.
While the term’s actual origin is unknown, it showcases that Filipino humor and creativity know no bounds. From becoming a cultural shorthand for the gossipy tita next door who spends a significant portion of her days spreading interesting (and occasionally harmful) gossip to her neighbors to a successful local internet sensation.
It is reminded that names originating from the term ‘Marites’ are coined as the local version of “Karen” (a US derogatory slang term for a white woman perceived as entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is normal). On the other hand, Marites came to popularity in 2020 when some people voiced their displeasure with Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s decision to lift the then-existing liquor ban. As a result, netizens rallied around the term “Manahimik ka, Marites,” which became viral online.