Cubao is the Grand Central Station in the middle of EDSA, the ground zero of the city, bus station capital, Isetan and Ali Mall, Fiesta Carnival and Araneta Coliseum. Its constituents are the bakal boys, salesladies in their unblended eye makeup, obreros in ribtight Blue Corner shirts and denim jackets, the lumpen, the denizens of the dark alleys and curious side streets offering a cheap pair of roller skates and a good time between screenings of Puri and Laman.
But the armpit of the city has been given a facelift and the results seem like a half-hearted attempt to duplicate Greenbelt and its environs. Earthballed palm trees, zen-sculpted fountains and discreetly pruned greenery have been added for that heaven in the concrete jungle feel. In the very least, it could be surmised that the Master Planner must have wanted to take its consumers out of the shoebox life the SM malls offer and give them a glimpse of the Ayala Center life.
This is what the Gateway brings: a middle passage between the bottom rungs and the upper deck of a rickety city ship. Gateway has all the high end shops—Lacoste, Springfield, Starbucks and Taco Bell. Previously, Ursula Lear has bewailed that the Siberian climate of the Gateway, with its high end stores and the absence of a foodcourt would drive away the natural inhabitants of Cubao. Because how would they be able to afford what this new place has to offer on their meager, Fridays, three gives salaries? The new Cubao is better suited to the prowlers of Ortigas, Eastwood and Makati. Take away one armpit—the other is Quiapo, forever dingy—and what you have is rampant displacement of the urban jologs (is this redundant?) from their designated space.
But all is not wasted. Because with each disturbance to the social pool creates new breeds and stories of displacement and adaptation. Due to the drastic change of demographics in the Cubao area, a new species has evolved and was observed.
Meet the metlogs: the metrosexual jologs which inhabit and populate the Gateway mall, their official hangout.
The Old Boy and I exchanged notes about this new breed we have both observed in the area. Metlogs are low end metrosexuals, and are curious by products of our Queer Eye for the Straight Guy pirated DVDs and jologs existence.
Mark Simpson invented the term that decreed it okay for Western guys to be vain and preen in front of the mirrors and still not be gay. Vanity is still a costly virtue, and it takes money to get yourself a gym membership, monthly trips to the stylist, a frequently refurbished wardrobe and all the accroutements required of a metrosexual. If you’re a third world guy with a third world salary, how are you going to swing it without depriving yourself of food and lodging?
The answer, of course, lies in trying to make do with what you have and what you can afford. Bid adieu to Gold’s Gym, Fitness First and even Slimmer’s World, and say hello to your gym sa kanto with its 100% bakal sa talyer equipment. There are no shower stalls here, but plenty of pails of water if you’re lucky. If you’re not, there’s that sementado spot outside with a drum filled with water and a tabo.
After that workout, you prep yourself and get dressed. Kerastase and Revlon is out of the question. If you’re on a budget, get yourself some Michaels hair gel, or if you can spare more, maybe some Gatsby. But metlogs will always have some moolah stashed away to complete their set of Bench perfumes—or rather, body sprays.
Metlogs are a buy Pinoy bunch, and Bench is their brand of choice. They have the requisite Bench ribbed tight shirts, in crew or v-neck, but mostly v-neck, as it is very versatile for wearing on its own or layered on a Baleno button down short sleeved shirt. Take note that Baleno, with its ubiquitousness in our metro ukay-ukays, is the only foreign brand that metlogs will willingly purchase.
Then, it’s on to the gimik. Prior to their takeover of the Gateway, metlogs have also been observed littering the Baywalk along Roxas Boulevard. Metlogs, like the rest of the jologs bunch, pride themselves in the appropriation (or is it invasion?) of space and style of the coño as an answer to displacement and marginalization.
More information on the metlogs when we come back.