So how do you become a bonafide Davao urbanite? It's as simple as starting from #1.
1. Be in the right schools
Schools are not just for learning the ABC's and the 123's. Consider it an immersion of some sorts. Study their culture. Books are not necessary... Just know where and where not to go...
2. Be with the right people
I'm not exactly referring to the jocks or the cheerleader... I'm an urbanite... not an airhead. Be with someone who knows this city by heart and knows the right places to go, the right people to meet and the right stuff to do. This not only saves you from humiliation you will have to endure your whole life or atleast, your whole stay here in this city but also, this will ensure your future and reputation here... :)
3. It's not what you wear... it's how you wear it
Set yourself apart from the archetypal Japayuki and the social climbing promdi in state of (culture) shock. First thing's first though: learn to spot these atrocities:
The forever compensating, social climbing, pretentious promdis
- The clothes that leave so little to the imagination in metallic hues (also characterstic of the typical Japayuki... lucky for them, it always makes a comeback every now and then.)
- Too much make up and the signature RDL "rosy cheeks" look. (Sunog na skin sa kakagamit ng RDL)
- uneven skin tone (notice the before and after comparison ng neck and face an the "before the before" comparison ng neck at kamay. Kung magpapaputi nalang, pantayin nalang kasi lahat...)
- The "pilit na pilit" tagalog dripping with Visayan accent. I speak bisaya and I'm proud of it.
- the proverbial japeks and imitations. It's spot the Fake Gucci Bag time!
- Much worst, the try hard Taglish... Puhleeeasee...
- Make-you-gag Pathetic fashion victims. Always trying to copy the latest trend even if it doesn't suit them in any ways.
- Putting their latest gadgets or branded thingamajings and blings in the most conspicuous places (see through bags, hawak hawak minsan) to show them off with matching tingin tingin pa sa gamit. Sana hindi ma snatch noh....
- Always overheard saying "This and that is asking me out... Ang ganda ng car niya... subra..."
- Well, obviously on the prowl for rich city guys with nice cars and big, BIG allowance, este, pay check...
- Suki ng lahat ng beauty pageants from the Barangay search to the prestigious ones...
- Pretends not to eat street food and not to ride the trisikad kasi it's cheap daw... nag je jeep nga ako eh...
- the "kachipan" crassiness inspite of their serious efforts to look classy
- Long, bleached hair with black roots
- The signature platform shoes
- The red, red lipstick
- The skimpy outfits
- Can smoke fearlessly anywhere despite the smoking regulation here in Davao
- always found toting an old foreigner paramore and her possie of promdi relatives
- Again, the signature RDL rosy cheeks
- make up galore
- the bus boy cap... isn't that soooo 2 years ago?
- the uneven skin tone... the before and after and before the before look, (see above)
But make no mistake. We aim for the fresh-as-a-daisy girl next door look with a pinch of glam girl. Easier said than done? not exactly. Even the simplest of all clothes can make you look like a goddess given the right accessories and the right make up. We are never caught dead with a pair of P100.00 flipflops. Our feet are pampered with only the best foot wear. I'm not talking about Havaianas. We're sooo over them. well, me atleast. There are alot others to choose from. To name a few, there's Grendene Ipanema, Brazilia Praia, Roxy Quiksilver, Sanuk and the classic Happy Feet. And then there's always the embellished variety. When it comes to Jewelry, we keep it short and sweet. We, Davaoenas are after all, classic minimalists. We know that too much accessories is waaay to distracting. We simply avoid the "Matrona" look with all the trinkets from gold bangles to heavy old school bling blings. It only takes a pair of earrings, a few trinkets and fancy watch to complete the look. Top it off with the right pair of eye wear. But take note, shades are only for outdoors. Avoid looking like a tacky oxymoron by wearing shades inside malls and establishments. Don't even think about wearing shades at night. And make up? As the french women always say, "Less is always more". That means, little or no make up. Go for tinted moisturizers and mineral powder, a lip and cheek tint, some eyeliner and a coat of clear mascara.
Last, but not the least. The best accessory you wear with anything is you attitude. Wear anything like you mean it.
Don't get us wrong though. It's not that we hate trends and fads. We just don't follow every new trend that hits the town. We look at each trend with a discerning eye, checking that the next "big thing" won't make us look like pregnant buffoons. And we don't stop from there. We improvise. Make it look like our own. We only believe in one statement when it comes to fashion and that is OUR OWN. And like what I always say, we wear it like we mean it. :)
Never be caught dead looking like
Malibu Barbie on the way to a strip club.
Overpriced and overrated flipflops are
a Davao Urban Aphrodite's best friend
4. PRACTICAL SENSIBILITY
What sets us apart from our fellow urban dwellers from Cebu and Metro Manila is our practical sensibility. We are not born big spenders. We know the secrets to looking fab without breaking the bank.
And if we invest on something pricey, it has to be worth every penny. So, how do we guage if it's worth spending on? Simple. Just answer 3 simple questions.
1. Is it built to last?
2. Will it never go out of style?
3. Can you match it up with anything?
If you answered yes to all of the questions, go right ahead and splurge. Otherwise, go for the cheaper version. We know for a fact that trends come and go. No sense wasting too much money on something that's going to be out of style eventually. But imitations are out of the question. Never be caught dead toting a fake anything. It's social suicide. It won't hurt to wear something locally made. Bayo, Maldita and Kamiseta are nice choices. And alot cheaper too. It's about time you contribute something to the economy by patronizing locally made goods and eradicating the badly made replicas.
5. Be un starstruck
We're not exactly snobs but we recognize the humanity in everyone. Specially in celebrities. It's not that we condescend their profession as entertainers. We are just unfazed by their celebrity. Take away all the glitz and glamour and what do you have? A painfully ordinary human being facing the same issues like tax, growing old and pension plans... well... almost... So the next time you spot Angelina Jolie, resist the urge to make like a wide eyed, snap happy paparazzi or worse, ruining her lunch for a stupid autograph... Never make them feel they deserve the pedestal everyone puts them on.
6. Never be too trusting
Niceness in an anathema to any urbanite from any part of the country. Though as Filipinos (Dabawenyas to be exact) a little warmth is expected from us, we must maintain that cool nonchalance and a dash of cynicism at all times, save for some moments with the chosen few we know and trust. Always be on guard. Consider vigilance and a little distrust as your weapon in a dog-eat-dog world, even if it is just Davao city (A far cry infact from the hurly burly of Manila life). Good naturedness only evokes bad intentions from the shrewd charlatan. Always act like you are one step ahead of them, calculating your next move. Learn the art of Psych war. Be scheming. Psych them out or be psyched.
7. Never be the first to say hello
It is rather annoying when someone from across the room shouts your name to get your attention. Much more annoying is someone who is always on the prowl for an acquaintance or a long lost friend to exchange hellos. One word. TACKY. And us urban dwellers are anything but TACKY. Rule of thumb: Never be the one to go over to someone to say hello. It's too unbecoming, not to mention, unworthy of the five to six steps of walk just to get someone's attention. If he or she doesn't see you, let her be. No point wasting your time on saying hello to someone who doesn't seem to notice you. And waiting for someone to make the first move wouldn't do you justice either. Pretend you don't know anyone and walk along. Pretend your time is too precious to waste on a senseless chitchat.
8. Never waste your time noticing other people
Neve give other people the pleasure of being noticed. Never bash... out loud atleast. Judging them will only assert their existence. Don't flatter them by merely taking notice. So she forgot her pedicure before slipping into those uber hideous footwear. Big deal. Turn the other cheek. Let the fashion police do their job.
9. Compliment sparingly but sincerely
So she got herself a new pair of shoes. Big deal. It's soooo not even your type. She dangles it on your face, waiting for a favorable response. What do you do? Keep mum and turn the other cheek. Mean much? Not really. Flattery is cheap. Compliments on the other hand is not a dime a dozen. Make them feel like they need to earn it. Compliment only when there is a need for it. But don't gush. 2 words and a 5 second glance is all it takes. Don't linger long enough to hear the whole scoop on how she got her Jimmy Choos.
10. Learn a thing or 2 from the French women
Study the people who gave rise to the proverbial Femme Fatale. Learn the art of being sexy without lifting a finger. Know how to do everything with elegance and finesse from strutting down the mall to lighting a cigarette. Know that too much make up makes you look vulgaire. Au contraire to what most people think, it's not their vanity that make these women sexy. It's their carefree non-chalant attitude over love and life. Go with the flow. If he likes you, well and good. If he doesn't, who cares. But make no mistake. Appearance is, unfortunately, everything for the French woman. Never be caught in the schlump. Just because the nearest store is just a couple of blocks away from where you live doesn't mean you have to go out with a ratty T-shirt and a mess of a bed head. Shower before you leave the house for whatever reason. Who knows who you'll bump into when you get there. But unlike the French, we wear heels ONLY when the occasion calls for it. And another thing. If there's one thing the French women are known for, it is the archetypal Beauty with brains... and a little dash of class. Read. Be in the know. Update yourself with current events. Feed your mind with prose and poetry. Enjoy literature. Rediscover the past by reading history books. Travel if you may. Nothing screams sexy than a woman with a good head on her shoulders.
11. Avoid cussing
A lady is anything but vulgar. Choose your words. Never be heard cussing in public. Be polite and civil.
12. Englog and Valley speak spells crassy, not classy
We Dabawenyas are known for our modesty. We hate to brag. We even have the habit of shying away from compliments. We never bring out the big guns unless the occassion calls for it. We occasionally surprise everyone with our extensive vocabulary and stupendous command of the english language.
But on most days, we prefer to speak with our native tongue with pride. Be it tagalog or Bisaya. Nevermind the ignorant northerners who constantly identify our dialect with the humble househelps. The nerve.
Speaking bisaya makes us feel more at ease and at home. Beats trying hard to speak tagalog with the heavy Visayan accent. So typical of these pretentious promdis. Such atrocities....
13. Always watch your back
Davao city is still, nevertheless, a city. As much as it has the drama, the action, and everything else in between, it's also teeming with conniving little bitches who'll do anything to ruin you and your reputation. Be careful with whom you entrust your deepest, darkest secrets. Sharing such sensitive information gives the other person some power over you. Never be too open with anyone. Some skeletons are best kept deep inside your closet. Besides, nothing excites the mind than a little enigma.
Easy right? :)