Who hasn’t heard of Marites? You have probably come across this widespread name in one way or another on social media, especially in posts involving “tea”—or juicy news about something or someone.
Just recently, a lot of Mariteses popped up in the hot issue concerning Aljur Abrenica and Kylie Padilla, who both broke their silence on their breakup with cheating allegations. When the actor released a statement demanding the latter to “tell the truth” about their separation, many Mariteses drew some laughs as they turned even to the other Kylies—including beauty queen and actress Kylie Verzosa—and asked them to reply to Abrenica’s accusation.
Marites behavior goes wrong. 🥲 Amid the Kylie Padilla and Aljur Abrenica story, some netizens have taken it upon themselves to ask Kylie the real score, but it seems like they went to the wrong ones. 🥴 Read more at https://t.co/aDhmcfWTHr. (📸: @deadeyebrakeman and @Senyora) pic.twitter.com/zFEOM5BYzt— PhilSTAR L!fe (@philstarlife) October 21, 2021
How did Marites become a hot meme among netizens again?
While its exact origin remains unclear, the term has been a cultural shorthand used by Internet users to refer to the gossipy tita next door who spends a huge chunk of her days spreading interesting (and sometimes, malicious) gossip to her neighbors.
Additionally, it’s known as the Filipina counterpart of “Karen,” which is “a pejorative slang term for an obnoxious, angry, entitled, and often racist middle-aged white woman who uses her privilege to get her way or police other people’s behaviors,” as per Dictionary.com.
The iconic “Manahimik ka, Marites” line trended online early in the pandemic in 2020, when Manila Mayor Isko Moreno announced that no liquor ban will be implemented in the city under modified enhanced community quarantine. While most people celebrated the news, a certain Marites opposed such decision, pointing out that liquor is not an essential. A Facebook user drew laughs with his hilarious comment: “Manahimik ka, Marites!!!!”
This year, the term even became more popular when TikTok user Justine Luzares gave birth to the character in one of his famous videos. Lazares, a BPO process trainer who has become a famous comedian on the app, portrays a typical chismosa neighbor in a robe and a towel on her head, spreading rumors and tittle-tattles in a British accent.
His first video was of “Chismosang Marites” in Pride and Prejudice that has reached nearly 100,000 hits since it was uploaded in January. In one of his most viral TikTok posts, he introduced Marites as the “queen of gossips,” “mother of all tambays and usiseras,” and the “eyes and ears of the new world,” among others.
The TikTok character has continued to be loved by many, so much so that even famous personalities like voice talent Inka Magnaye have “dueted” with him in some of his videos.
With the rise of Mariteses online and offline, the name has now become synonymous for people who traffic in gossip, especially involving famous celebrities, a highly resonant image as rumor mongering has long been a national pastime even before the pandemic.