Saturday, May 17, 2008


Because I have been gone for a while, I see everything with new eyes. Every day is a re-discovery, some things have surprised me, some continue to disgust. The other day, while waiting for my mom's friend (at Starmall on Shaw), a few things struck me. One, that Filipinas are really a good-looking lot. Maybe I have been around too many Caucasians that the 'novelty' of their exoticness has worn off. Filipinas are gorgeous. And we come in different hues and shapes. Damn. I think I'd been hanging out with a few too many lesbians on campus. Haha.

My first four days were partially spent in four different malls. Imagine that. They are inescapable. They are there so we have no choice but go to them. Life in this city revolve around going to them, for various purposes - to relax, to get the necessities, to meet people. Which drives home the point that whatever economic growth this megalopolis is probably consumption driven. Jesus. One only need look at the urban landscape, the billbaords, the glossy magazines and newspapers that all we are here for is to work and then consume. Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast, supposedly Queensland's largest shopping centre, is probably as large as Powerplant Mall and a lot uglier. And only 2 floors! Remember this conversation I had with a British cabbie back on the Gold Coast? SM Mall of Asia drove them nuts. Our shopping culture is unparalleled, and our malls...I never saw anything comparable in Melbourne or Sydney. Probably the closest in terms of 'chicness' is Southgate (in Melbourne), but it was tiny. One would think we had lots and lots of money. All those people milling around in there nothing else to do? Nowhere else to go?

Ah basta. From next week, I will stick to the once-a-week in a mall rule. Today and tomorrow don't count because I need to do some 'getting back home' shopping for myself, my mom and our home.

Another mind-boggling thing is the SPEED with which my wifi connection was installed. I went to SM North to apply for the service. All I needed was P999 and my driver's license. I went to the Smart Centre around 3h30. The whole business was completed in 30 minutes. I got a call around 5h saying the installers would come the day after from 3h-5hpm. The day after, they actually came earlier at 10h30. Imagine that!! A wifi connection in less than 24 hours! I remember a decade and a half ago, we waited years(!) to get a PLDT landline. Jesus. Is this a sign of the times?

This country is wired. The latest in gadgets - mobile phones, computing, anything tech-related, we probably have it. I was afraid the wifi speeds would be incredibly slow. But it isn't so bad. The same as my uni during peak weeks. I compare these little tech shops in the shopping centres on the GC to the labyrinthine 'cyberzones' of our malls. Absolutely incomparable. And our internet cafes and shops.....they are peppered all around the metro. Butch was also saying that during their shoot in this far-flung town in Samar, their American crew was surprised that they had an internet shop...which was always full.

We have had a brief sampling of the ramifications of new media in our social lives. My communications professor back in Bond mentioned the "text-power" unleashed during Erap's time. But that was seven years ago. This is now. 24 million internet users in this year alone. A nation young and wired to the teeth. Imagine the possibilities.


metro said...

24 million internet users? Mind boglling. I wonder what the percentage is for filipinos who use the internet for friendster, facebook, webcam bridal arrangements, 3gp scandals download etc.. this country wouldv'e been so powerful had they used this power of access to information in the right way....I think caffeinesparks has a funny story about tricycle drivers and their friendster accounts (LOL!!!)

Jego said...

At 999 a month, internet connection's still too expensive. Somebody ought to put up a free service. Sure youll have to put up with the ads but we already do that with TV so it's not as if that's a show-stopper. Information wants to be free.