Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Noisy Boys

I admit it, if there is a most wanted list for grade school, I would be in it. I always make it to the noisy list even if I could not understand why. It seems like some of my grade school teachers have this nasty habit of simply not going to class, and to cover up for their absence, we are to be punished.

Now here is the unfairness in the system, if you are a teacher, it is an absence, but if you are a student, it is a cut?

Anyway, every time the teacher decides to skip classes, she would appoint the most kiss-ass kid (KAK for brevity) to watch over the class. The KAK would stand in front of the classroom and starts making a list on the blackboard:



The funny thing is that, we are all sitting quietly there. Once in a while, a classmate would make a funny face to entice you to chuckle in laughter. This would usually get you in the list. Even a mere cough or a polite throat clearing will bring your name.

The noisy list is my first experience in criminal justice. For starters we did not have an ordinary KAK, we had a girl named Carrie. Carrie is fit for the role as the Noisy Monitor. She was big for her age, had bushy eyebrows and very muscular for a girl (yes..muscular). She reminds me of what would happen if you cross the Sea Hag and the Goons in the Popeye cartoons. While other girls would charm you, we actually dread Carrie. She looks like she could really do some bodily damage to you if you let her sneak in an uppercut or two.

Carrie is not just the police, she is also the prosecutor, as she would gleefully tell the teachers the sordid details of how we were noisy.

“He said….Ummmmm….ummmm…and then he coughed three times…”

“He said, ‘excuse me’ after he burped”…

The teacher will be the judge and executioner. It would be additional cleaning detail for us or we would be asked to stand in a corner for thirty minutes. No fair trial here, the mere appearance of your name in the “Noisy List” means you are doomed. No explanation will be necessary from you. I actually thought that they provide the noisy list to Camp Crame so that the Martial Law administrator would bodily pick us up and send us to some labor camp.

In the end, I survived grade school notwithstanding the thousands of times I made it to the noisy list—and I was not sent to reform school or to some Philippine Martial Law detention center.

What happened to Carrie? I think she went to Russia and became a Prison Director there.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Glutathione my Papaya

Everywhere you look, there appears to be advertisements for whitening products. In the past the endorsers and users of whitening products appear to be entirely women. But what is this business of men using whitening products?

Some are even endorsed by men. I cringe at the sight of driving along EDSA seeing the testimonials of some very white (and very smooth) actor or celebrity endorsing whitening products.

Let it be made clear here. Remember the adage: TALL, DARK and HANDSOME? A manly man must be dark and dusky. If by the accident of genetics you are fair skinned, it is your Godly obligation to manliness to make yourself dark by spending time outdoors or by going to a tanning saloon. The rule does not apply to those with albinism.

We should be thankful as a race, for we are blessed with the genes that make our skin lusciously brown. Male, or female our complexion makes us the envy of many. I’ve been to beaches outside of the Philippines and our perfect brown skin makes us the center of attention. No ugly freckles here, no sir!! No rough pinkish skin!! But most of all we do not need suntan lotion to get that gorgeous tan; we just need a little SPF protection here and there to save us from the horrors of sunburn.

I remember this funny incident when I was part of the Rowing Team. During one practice, we were passing around this bottle we thought contained sun block. Three hours into the practice, and several pass of the bottle later we discovered it contained suntan lotion. The label said “SPF1 for a deep, rich and luscious Caribbean tan”. For several days the entire team was not brown, we were all bronze. Make that Supermodel bronze.

Going back to men who want to be white, let me say this, vanity has its limits. A manly man is allowed only a few degrees of vanity, too much vanity and ..and..You’ve crossed over to the other side. What better sign than a manly man who suddenly becomes whiter and ..ahemmm…smoother. If you noticed your male office mate gradually looking whiter and whiter, talk to him, he might need your advice:

“You don’t have to hide it you know…we’ll be here for you. But please, whatever you do, please do not land in prison, you will be popular there..”

Men are by the laws of nature allowed a certain roughness in their appearance. Our skin is scarred by old war wounds, cuts from power tools, burn marks from using fireworks and explosives, the nicks from playing physical sports, the dryness from being exposed to the sun and pollution and the general lack of use of moisturizers, sun block and lotion.

Glutathione, Papaya soap, bleach and sulfur. None of which have been proven by science to give you permanent whitening. Read the labels, “NO APPROVED THERAPEUTIC CLAIMS”. Gene therapy may be the only hope, but why waste billions of dollars in cancer research to cater to the vanity of some (errrr) men who wants a creamy complexion—or even pinkish male nipples. There are even clinics who offer injectable glutathione. The caveat here is that you will have to regularly go back to get your glutathione shot, otherwise you loose your creaminess. So getting white is just like becoming a cocaine addict, once you start, there is no way you can stop from shooting up. What would happen if you overdose? Do you turn invisible?

Take my advice and my advice is applicable to both men and women. The rest of the world is spending billions of dollars in suntan lotions and tanning saloons. Does it make sense to make yourself white when you are just perfect being brown?

Here is my take here. If you need to whiten your skin to feel good, then your problem is self-esteem. Dr. Calayan or Dr. Bello cannot cure that.

There is a cheaper way to be white. Use Boysen.