Call me hypocrite, but social climbing is one of my pet peeves as I don’t understand the concept. People who wish they weren’t are just revolting. Well, it’s true, I might be irritated to them because I just can’t be like them. Perhaps, I’m jealous or I just wanted to compete. Given that I’m not an expert of science nor history I can only speculate as to why we always have a drive in competing with the Joneses (have no idea what its equivalent in Filipino – ‘pataasan ng ihi’ na lang). At times it can be disastrous to oneself or to a fellow human in a relentless scramble to climb to the top.
On a flipside, there must be something good about being a Social Climber. It’s not always bad to brush elbows with the amigas or those we consider ‘sosyal’, famous or powerful. Being fascinated by social figures is not wicked per se, just as being a vegetarian is not in itself a proof of compassion. Okay – I just had a quick self-reflection (to justify my hypocrisy). A pause and a deep rational thought is needed before spilling judgement (grinning).
For example, a desire to get to know more of socialites like Liz Uy or Tim Yap is our natural tendency to be curious about other’s lifestyle beyond ours. Or it might have been due to our animal instinct to fight and survive. Perhaps, a desire for a better life. Or maybe rooted by low self-esteem or our desperate tendency for self-comparison which can be our motivation to excel and be great. You see, how can we ever know our progress if we don’t have point of reference.
One of the best place to social climb is where the Social herds are, behold- Night Markets. And where else is more sosyal than the famous Gourmand Market in Bonifacio Global City? They are just beside Central Square which usually opens 11am to 2am that runs on a 3-day event on weekends (this time Nov 13-15). You’d constantly hear the elites saying the likes of “Hey Dahlings”, “buddy”, “mah love, howya doin?” (ang aarte- char!), and what have you. And isn’t it fun to just sit there and wait for the catwalk of fashionable lads and hunky bachelors (dami guapo promise)? Yung ibang guys OA na- to the point of being Gayish na (mga beki). But hey, be ready with your budget. You can’t really find a shop that sells less than 200 for a crappy burger or sushi. Imagine a 4-tiny-slice salty Spam dipped in oil has cost me P150. Duh! Poor me. But then you don’t show how poor you are when attempting to social climb.
Hence, the Palengkera devised some etiquette of Social Climbing in Gourmand Market.
1. Be discreet when hungry. Walking from Market Market to Central Square is undeniably agonizing thus making you starving by the time you get there. For heaven’s sake, do not show excitement for the free sample food every stall offers. I get you, you are starving, so what you can do first is to give a lazy smile (konti lang), then ask what they are offering. Wait a little, they should offer you a sample and whala! When finished, give a compliment of how good the food is (kahit plastikan lang).
2. Politely decline some, just some. I know you are actually so Gutom, but please decline some taste testing. Mahahalata kasi mga patay-gutom. Just ask what it is then politely decline those you think are not worth your kapalmuks. For instance, don’t go for the oily na overly priced sushi spam, or the overrated cookies na parang matigas pa sa kalyo mo. But I tried the lemon cake and twas’ good.
3. Mind your Budget in a fabulous way. If you know you only have 500 on your pocket for the coming week’s allowance, carefully choose what you buy. Some are really overpriced without value for your money. Yung lechon belly cost you an arm and leg -P350, ilang piraso lang. Basta pili lang ng mejo sophisticated but not over P200.
4. Use Paper/brown bag on food not plastic or cellophane (especially the cheap one’s). Ang pangit dalhin lalo na pag sa stolen shots.. Provinciated baga.
5. Buy something. While you are practically sampling almost every morsel one is offering, buy something naman in return like a lemon juice or chips to show you are not just into tikim lang. Duh.
6. Pretend you know someone. If you’re alone maybe check your smart phone once in a while as if you are waiting for someone. Or maybe pretend you are calling and have some taglish hello’s to your imaginary friend. Para sosyal. Or say Hi to the vocalist as if you were close friends – nagawa ko na yan. Char char lng.
7. Imitate the demeanor of others. High-headed pag naglalakad, magsuod ng hindi madungis, Yung bago na nabili sa sale sa bench okay na. Mag lotion, magpabango ng hindi Bambini-like, yung maamoy pero di masang sang. Basta just Don’t wear anything na madungis.
8. Strike a good conversation. Yung as if you talk about ideas not people. Although mahirap yun -kunwari lang, tali-talinuhan lang. Observe how they talk, then laugh at them with your friends.
9. Make it a point you pronounce the name of the food well. If not sure, just shut up or try hushing it and see if you can get away with it. Mahirap na magkamali, mahahalata ang di sosyal. Ang Frappe is just “frap”, hindi frap-pe. kaloka. croissant- krəˈsɑnt. ganun
10. Practice more. And if you feel everything doesn’t work the way it should, just practice. At tandaan, huwag mag papicture ng papicture, napaghahalata ang pagka-dukha.
Try it. Social climbing becomes a little less ridiculous if one acknowledges how to deal with it. As cliché as it sounds, if you can’t beat them, join them.