Tuesday, October 13, 2009

everything is the same, pretty much

During my usual weekly visit to The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf a few days back, I came across a local magazine called "High Life" (published by Business World). I make it a point to read all the new magazines a coffee shop has to offer so I don't have to buy new magazines. Also, I'm paying them good money for the Matcha Green Tea. They better have free reading materials.

In one of the articles, "High Life" claims that the luxury market in the Philippines is growing, explaining why despite the obvious poverty all around (nevermind the recession), the Makati shop floors still have the usual Louis Vuitton, Prada, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Tod's, etc. - and why Hermes is opening in Greenbelt 4 soon.

The article goes on to claim that
Filipinos who have traveled abroad and have been exposed to a lot of luxurious experiences/choices want to recreate the same shopping experience here.

All I can say is...

Bah, humbug!

Traveling has the opposite effect on me.

Instead of making me crave more luxury, it just makes me realize that luxury is NOT really exclusive. I no longer want a new bag or a tweed jacket. I have enough - adding to it would be just so

(Perhaps I have "luxury fatigue." Champs-Elysees gives me a migraine. Don't even get me started on all the luxe shops in Nice Ville and Cannes, where Chanel seems to be in every corner. This accessibility cheapens luxury.)

(Also, don't believe those who RAVE about things they see abroad; they probably have colonial mentality coupled with bad taste. In my experience, people who get starstruck by other countries are just unhappy with their lives here. Perhaps they do not surround themselves with quality things, so when they see just a teeny weeny bit of luxe, they are agog.)

Travel doesn't stir discontent in me; I certainly don't look for the same "luxury experience" that well-traveled people look for, at least according to
Business World. If anything, travel makes me appreciate what I already have - and what we (as Pinoys) already have.

It's not so bad here, TRUST ME. Metro systems, housing, shopping - we have it all, and in many respects, we have it better.

So the next time you hate your life and wish you were in Paris, London, New York or some other romanticized city pretending to be "first-world" like Hong Kong, look at these pictures:

One of the many homeless people in London

Slums of Paris

Real-life housing in "first-world" Hong Kong

Dirty streets of New York

See? Everything is the same, pretty much.




Anonymous barrycade said...

the mag title itself is pretentious. or maybe i just dont belong in the same circle. i'm very happy where i am---quality life, quality friends. :)

7:57 PM  
Anonymous ace said...

lol. natawa ako when i saw the mag title. a mag like that in a country like this! :/

i think you're right in saying that everything is pretty much the same everywhere. but i also think not that many people are as keen or realistic and/or truly educated to recognize and not deny the fact that rich countries/expensive places have beggars and dirty streets, too.

2:28 PM  
Blogger The Nomadic Pinoy said...

I agree with your views. The more we travel, the more we realize we see a lot of similarities as there are opposites. Social problems like homelessness and litter are never exclusive to poorer countries.

4:42 AM  
Blogger mussolini said...

barry> try reading it :)

acey> i still don't know why dirty side streets in paris pass as "charming."

nomadic> i think that the philippines just gets bad press. all we hear about in CNN is the poverty. it's really not that bad. maybe we need a PR face lift.

8:25 AM  

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