Thesis blog 11: Istambay and the higher odds of smoking and drinking

Posted on: Oct 20, 2009

Over the last few days, I have been thinking about why istambays smoke and drink a lot. After analyzing my data, I find it too simple to say that the reason why they engage into these socially-problematized behaviours is just mainly due to their lack of work and employment. The effect of gender in the regression models is stronger and persistent in predicting the odds of smoking and drinking in the Philippines. That is, Filipino males are more likely to smoke and drink than their female counterparts.

There’s nothing big or surprising about this finding. But this insight establishes the complex location of istambay in Philippine society. This possibly explains why often when we see istambay on street corners, we also see them smoking and drinking. But who are these istambay? What are they? Why mostly Filipino males?

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