Monday, March 12, 2012

Into The Realm Of The Super Rich And Fabulous

My mom and I went to a party the other day. It was a simple merienda, arranged by the host's children to celebrate her 60th birthday. The get-together took place at Via Mare in Rockwell. It was a pleasant occasion filled with fun and laughter.

After I had emptied my plate, (note the contents of my tummy: palabok with lots of pork rind bits, half a plate of bibingka, a pan-de-sal with butter filling and a piece of sweet palitaw) a stroll was in order. First, I went inside the mall. And when I stopped outside Datablitz, I couldn't leave without buying the latest Sims 3 expansion pack. So much for my goal of credit card elimination. I'm sure that by the end of summer, bills are still piling up.

But this entry is not about my pricey pursuits.

On my second round of strolling, I decided to avoid the boutiques and instead follow a route that would take me to the posh apartments next to the Powerplant Mall. There is a street called Residential Drive, and this private road would lead me to the very glass-and-stone lobbies where members of the high society enter to reach their abodes.

The last time I explored this part of Rockwell was two years ago. I was with David Rockens. We were trying to find an exit to J.P. Rizal when a security officer stopped us from walking further. Apparently, our oily faces, large back packs and crumpled shirts-and-jeans revealed so much about our social standing. We tried to explain that we're simply passing through. But the officer said it was a dead end. We were forced to turn around and walk inside the mall instead.

This time, I was ready. I took Baabaa's fashion advice very seriously (after he commented how shabby my get-up was the last time we went out) and wore walking shorts with a cream shade. A rich ninong gave me a dark-colored Zara shirt last Christmas and this collared shirt became my upper garment. The dress combination worked so well, I heard my mom saying, "Ang gwapo naman ng anak ko." when she picked me up for the party.

So I crossed the street and turned in a corner going to Hidalgo Place. There is a guardhouse at the middle of the road manned by two officers. A roving guard stood sentry next to the pavement. I was able to slip unnoticed by looking at my phone, and typing a tweet as I walk pass the guards. Since it takes ages before the phone sends an update, I would already be out of sight before my barriotic ways get noticed. 

I kept walking, only to pause and look at the passing Audis or BMWs before the sedans disappear from my view. Sometimes, I would come across a resident walking in the opposite direction - their appearance leaving me with a puzzled look on my face, as I kept wondering how such ordinary-looking souls get to live in posh places like Rockwell.

The successful intrusion brought me past Rizal, Hidalgo and Luna towers. These addresses, named in honor of the country's greatest artists must have brought prestige to its homeowners. But for pedestrians like me, these landmarks serve as a good reminder of how the privileged demand only the finest; that the world really favors only a select few.

While I was out there, craning my head up to marvel at the stunning architecture and pretending that I belong to the upper class, I asked myself how it feels to live just over the wall. I wondered how awful it must be to wake up in one of the hovels along Gabaldon Street and be greeted by these steel and glass edifices, while in your own rut, the order of the day would always be to look for ways to earn money and survive. Meanwhile, those in Rockwell live in absolute luxury, they see the dwellers below more of an eyesore than an object of humble contrast. These thoughts pulled me back to my place, where daybreaks spell uncertainty and sleeps are meant to escape from life's monotony.

I was able to cover the entire length of Residential Drive, and learned that the road was no dead end after all. The guard who stopped us years back simply didn't want us around. When I returned to Via Mare, everyone was singing Happy Birthday. The blushing celebrant, (and host) a proud mother of three kids just had the grandest celebration of her life - a party I've always dreamed of throwing for my mother.

It was her kids who pooled their resources for such life milestone celebration to come true. Later that afternoon, I've learned from the host herself that one of the children, a guy who apparently gave the biggest share, is of the same age as me.



the green breaker said...

This is how social cruelty begins to eat me. By comparing myself to the people of my age, there really won't be a point of comparison financially speaking.

But look who's smarter. Hahaha. Well, that is the only thing that I could brag about. Back in college, these rich guys would always need help around academic stuff. If not for their money, I doubt if they could ever survive the world only with themselves.

Vince (Discreet Manila) said...

I've actually been inside the Luna Gardens (I've blogged about why I was there in some blog somewhere ;-) and yeah, the condo is quite posh. The person who lives in that unit I visited is just rich (his business is real estate), though not famous.

sin at work said...

hayyy. well ganyan talaga. people initially base everything on how someone looks like.
and also, ang pangit talaga ng pakiramdam ng pagkainis dahil sa may ka-age ka na mas madami pa nagawa kaysa sa sa iyo.
hayyyy minsan sarap sapakin. chos!
minsan nga mas bata pa sa akin. tsk.
okay lang yan! look at the bright side. at least nung 2nd attempt mo e nakalusot ka! ibig sabihin pasado na ang looks mo! good job! haha chos lang :D