what middle class?!
(**please don't take this post seriously. it's politically incorrect. for those who have no sense of humor and don't understand irony when they see it, go away! chos! parang teddy locsin lang ang peg ha.)
while having beer at our favorite watering hole in wan chai called amoy (it's an acquired taste, mind you), my new expat friend asked me in his purfect &+@& accent why there are a lot of middle class in the philippines. and if they are fun to be with.
"are they stiff and snobbish?"
he is convinced, bless his naive heart, that i am upper class.
(i am wondering what gave him the impression and what made him so sure that i hobnob with the zobels, the ayalas, the cojuangcos, the aranetas, the roxases during summer at the hamptons and winter at the bahamas? god knows, i have been hiding my social background for so many years by speaking english with a visayan accent that i am now convinced i am working class. oh well!)
before he asked me the ms universe question, he told me about his filipina nanny and maids back in england! their family's art collection that include a goya and a degas. luvly!
because i was already a bit drunk (margarita and cosmo got me. he was paying), i told him that the truth is, there is no middle class in the philippines. there are only two social classes in my country, i told him, between sips of margarita (so shoshal noh?) and ogling the already rowdy cute young guys at the next table -- rich and poor. the middle class that he is saying are actually working class people pretending to be the idle, lazy rich who don't work and depend on their share of the family businesses for cash.
trying to impress him (he is paying the bill, remember) with my knowledge of philippine anthropology, history, high society, culture, high art and low brow, i said it is easy to spot them. some of the tell tale signs are....then i elaborated the following traits with gusto and pride. it takes one to know one, haha.
(by the way, just to be clear, i have nothing against those who think that they are rich and therefore deluded themselves that they grew up in forbes park instead of forbes near ust or in a ayala alabang village instead of a fishing village. it's your life. it's your style. suit yourself. as for me, i always admired matt damon's character in the talented mr. ripley though i could relate more with the bored and clueless cate blanchett and the gorgeous jude law. go figure!)
* speak english with a few tagalog words in between in super fake american or british accent. classic case is dina bonnevie's "tusok tusok the fishball.."
* ride in a car (kahit 80s model pa at karag karag na) so they can tell friends -- "where is na kaya my sundo? or i better call na my driver. ay there he is na pala, making potpot with the busina. bye."
* fond of beso beso even with strangers that they have just meet just to be chica. i only do this with my really, really dear vaklush friends. excuse me. chos!
* obsessed with anything branded. the more prominent the lv logo, the better.
* always telling people about a new, chic restaurant and bar that they went to over the weekend and even claiming that the owner(s ) (using first names hah) are her friends. as in -- "if you want to get a table at chuva cheche, just tell me and i will call kurdapya for you. she owns the restaurant."
as if booking a table in manille will take you months.
* brags that he never watch filipino movies and teevee shows. "so bakya, eh. only our maids watch them kasi. also, i can't understand what they are saying kasi." he also claims not to know who german moreno is or inday badiday! chos!
this is the biggest give away, by the way.
* always wants to look fashionable by wearing clothes seen on the pages of bog and other local fashion glossies. ekk. she feels as if she is already in the league of paris hilton when she sees her picture(s) in one of them even if she appeared at the edge of the photo and can hardly be recognized. in gay speak, we call it -- lumi-level up ang futah!
* criticizes and corrects people who mispronounce english (sometimes french) words and those who use english the wrong way (wrong grammar). as if he studied in an ivy league school or went to eton for his mba. haha.
* name their kids with spanish/russian/british sounding names (your majesty queen hatshitput) like royalty. as if! i super lyk my friends who named their kids araw, tala, sinag, diwata and raja. so chic! i adore them. i wish my parents named me solayman or banahaw instead of elpidio! seriously.
* idolizes paris h.
* always posts tons of vacation pictures, even if it's only in balikasag island, on facebook and other social media sites. (i used to do this by the way, until my royal adviser warned me that i would lose my claim to the throne if i continue doing it. so there. goodbye loads of facebook pics!)
if you can't help it, ten to twenty pictures per country is reasonable. right?
(lastly, i have nothing against new moneyed people. they are fun to be with. they are so generous, they will even buy you expensive gifts like bayong handbag just so you will hang out with them. tarush!)
the list is long, but my new friend was already dying of laughter and choking on his margarita.
"you are so mean," he said in his perfuct brit accent that even hugh grant would die of envy.
"so you are not middle class at all."
"i am working class. i grew up in a household with only one bedroom and a living room so small, we had to play outside of the house. i never hide it. i am proud of it."
"that's because you are raised in a castle in england," i teased him. "with nannies and surrounded by degas and other beautiful, expensive things."
"ok in a barn outside of london."
he laughed again.
"that's more like it."
this time, the boys in the next table were about to leave. i looked at my cellphone and it was already 2 a.m. no wonder everybody already looked delectable. it's the witching hour.
in a few more minutes, my upper body will separate from my lower part and will grow ugly wings.
i bid my princely friend adieu and head off into the dark, bitter cold evening.
what about you? how do you know if somebody is working class, rich or poor? or pretends to be middle class?
(note: all fotos taken from different websites. no copyright infringements intended. pls email blogger if you want them taken down. thanks!)