The art of ‘delicadeza’ modernized in new guidebook


Public relations maven Joy Buensalido writes a timely tome

Whereas previous generations turned to the elderly for lessons in life, today’s youngsters, students, millenials and all other labels in between, tend to rely on guidebooks and self-help sites to get them through varied challenges.

PR executive and author Joy Buensalido pens ‘Pinoy Manners: A Modern Guide To Delicadeza For All Generations’

PR executive and author Joy Buensalido pens ‘Pinoy Manners: A Modern Guide To Delicadeza For All Generations’

Relationship advice, home tips, career and financial guides as well as beauty and wellness how-to’s are just some of the subjects that sell like proverbial hotcakes in print and online. While Generations X and Y feel confident facing life with such guides, one wise Filipino woman strongly believes that they should pause for a moment, set aside the dictates of how to get ahead, and base choices on moral standards like before. With a passion, public relations maven Joy Buensalido wants to relive and revive the slowly dying art of delicadeza.

“I feel that people nowadays don’t practice delicadeza anymore. For example, I see today groups of friends exchanging partners—yes, their boyfriends and girlfriends! In our time, it was never done and could never be the case because you regarded each other’s territory,” Buensalido told The Sunday Times Magazine.

This observation and other vignettes in her life prompted her to write and publish Pinoy Manners: A Modern Guide To Delicadeza For All Generations.

“I feel that the boundaries now are getting more detached, so I just thought maybe I should give my little opinion on how it was during our time—a time when, I think, everything went well,” Buensalido added.

She cited several incidents when, despite treading the more polite path, people choose to feel indifferent towards other people’s feelings. Such results in the commonality of hearing remarks like, “You are so fat (or skinny), what happened to you?”

Buensalido’s take against the everyday comment is this: “You don’t know whether that person was going through something that led to their loss of weight or added pounds. That’s why you should be sensitive to his or her feelings to start with.”

There is also the singleton’s pet peeve, “When will you ever be in a relationship / get married / have a child?”

“Times have changed, and those priorities are not the only objective of men and women nowadays. There’s so much more to do for them,” Buensalido demystified.

For the well-bred author, defining delicadeza is very simple. “Again I say, it it is the act of being sensitive to another person’s feelings.

In her 133-page book, Buensalido illustrates what she feels are the proper etiquette in common life encounters. She lines up how to handle nosy neighbors, intrusive relatives, and discourteous co-passengers, among others.

Buensalido—whose three-decade long career in public relations has allowed her immeasurable encounters with people from all walks of life—also writes about what people should and should not say when talking to a bereaved kin in a funeral; meeting someone for the first time; attending a party; and even when meeting a person’s favorite celebrity.

In sharing these good manners, Buensalido, however, is very careful not to come across as preachy, which she also accomplished with the help of the colorful and apt illustrations of Elbert Or and Claudine Delfin on each topic.

Of course the very busy career woman is not oblivious to changes in social landscape but she restated that tapping on one’s ethics and principles never goes out of style.

“Because times have changed, rules have changed, yes. But I still believe we can all practice delicadeza,” she reiterated.

Moreover, the President and CEO of the 33-year-old Buensalido & Associates Public Relations refuses to be labeled a know-it-all from her book, admitting that while she wrote from personal observations of society, she accepts that her rules may not apply to everybody.

“Let this be one woman’s set of opinions, expressed in the form of a practical guide that simply aims to enhance readers’ personal, social and professional interactions with others,” she wrote in her introduction.

Finally, when asked what she would like her readers to take away from the labor of love that took her two years to complete, Buensalido replied, “Only these: That they need to respect other people’s feelings. That they don’t need to impose their opinions. We all have our own opinions, so you and I have to respect that.”

‘Pinoy Manners: A Modern Guide To Delicadeza For All Generations’ is available for pre-orders via or 817-4471.


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