Sweat and toil(et)
My friend Tim and I used to spend luxurious lapses of time in
After I got my usual Venti Java Chip and Tim with his Venti Mocha, we decided to stay outside, doing my usual puffing and our traditional ogling with our telescopic eyes. He seemed to be enjoying the company of his coffee so I didn’t bother joining the conversation. Instead, I looked around the periphery of our place. There seemed to be a common denominator among all passersby I saw. Foreigners. Lots of foreigners. I have never seen such a proliferation of alien blood, with the exception of international airports. Koreans dominate the population of foreigners I had spotted, and second to the number were Americans. They were walking to and fro, and they look as if they’re lost or something. At our right was a couple, a Japanese-looking guy who seemed to be in his forties and with him was a lady in her late twenties – hmmm, the popular “4M” principle began to circle around my head. In front of us was an American, smoking on Winston reds. At our back right were a group of French people – I think they’re French because I overheard their nasal accents.
My professor in Geography told us that SM MoA is strategically located at its current location in Pasay for economic reasons. It’s near airports, and major roads from Roxas Boulevard, Aguinaldo Highway, and Edsa Extension lead to this monstrosity. People leaving from the country could make a quick stopover to SM MoA for spur-of-the-moment shopping sprees, caffeine fixes perhaps, and probably restroom breathers basically because one cannot pee in so-called pink portalets (peeenk portable toilets) strewn along the stretch of Baclaran, lest s/he contracts various kinds of terminal diseases, or at the very least a terrible headache for the stench is so bad it seeps into the bone marrow. SM MoA is so capitalist-driven if you think about it; you’ll find almost anything you need in there at the biggest mall in the Philippines. And then I remembered that the owner is a Chinese.
After an hour or so, our tranquil state was interrupted by loud booming sounds of brass instruments. Then from a corner came a marching band called…SM Marching Band. It wasn’t really a full ensemble – then again, I don’t know what comprises a full ensemble, but I staunchly believe that it really wasn’t. The players had this costume that made them resemble rejected applicants of the Marine Corps. I thought they were just going to pass by and make rounds along the paved walkway, but the most dreadful part came in just as instantly: they performed right in front of us. The marching band was so hysterical, I almost fainted from laughing. If you haven’t seen them, don’t even contemplate meeting them in flesh. The music blaring from their instruments – consisting of clarinets, a tuba, trombones, a French horn, trumpets, bass and snare drums – reminded me of that movie Rocky Balboa, and the kind of music one associates with royalty strutting on red carpet, waving frantically until their hands fall out of their joints.
But the most hilarious part was the choreography. The band members formed four rows with five players in each row. And to express their high level of enthusiasm with their joyous and exciting muzak, they swayed from left to right, back and forth, turned around on their places, changed positions, and swung again from left to right, rocked their spines back and forth, spun around in 180 degrees, and made me laugh so much more. Everyone else showed a generous amount of passionate raving which they manifested through remorseless clapping of hands that prompted the band to perform another atrocious stunt, flailing and shaking their heads and all. This time I was cheesed off. I appreciate brass bands – the effort of blowing a steady stream of air onto those twisted tubes could probably inflate the player’s balls, but the second performance was so annoying it makes me want to grab the tuba, run amuck, and hammer them.
Then again, when the performance was over, it made me think. There must be a better way to make a living. Have to get my resumes ready.