illusions, passions, psychobabble

ukay-ukay shopping and kissing frogs

Note: This is one of the oldest entries in my first-ever blog, and I’m not ashamed to say that it was a *drumrolls* Friendster blog! Out of sisterly concern for my female students at the university, I feel the need to repost this entry WITH the profound response of one of my best gurls Grich. I hope that my students learn something from here that they’ll never learn in the classroom.

Originally posted WEDNESDAY, 15th JUNE 2005, 2:51 AM

Many Filipino women are such suckers for ukay-ukay.

I used to think that ukay shopping is limited to the budget conscious, but Cosmo tells me something else. Experience tells me something else. Like love and death, ukay shopping can be another great equalizer. (Only that rich fashionistas have personal shoppers, but that’s another story.)

Many assume that “ukay-ukay” was derived from the Filipino root word “halukay” (or to dig up the contents), usually associated with foraging for valuable discoveries– the same way ukay-ukay is linked with the sense of victory of getting to That Find.  But then, in my Hiligaynon tongue (or Ilonggo, as what we commonly refer to) “ukay” means mess, disorder, disarray, even chaos.

And somehow, our love for thrift shops and vintage shopping has been assimilated into our dating culture. With the proverbial rose-tinted glasses (barf-inducing and much abused cliché, sorry), we keep hoping that we can change some men from “being human” into “human beings.” A few stitches here, a new button there. Bleach away stubborn stains from the whites; sew in cool patches over those on the colored ones. Then off you go sporting your ukay finds, feeling and looking über-cool. But men, like women, are much more complicated than that.

Some of them are beyond repair. Don’t get me wrong. Before you have me boxed and labeled MAN-HATER; FRAGILE; THIS SIDE UP, read the next line:

Some men are irreparable because they’re not meant to be recycled. (Love ‘em or leave ‘em; another barf-inducing cliché) Nor are they supposed to be altered. Makeovers for them are virtually impossible. There is just no changing them. You can’t change them. I can’t change them. Get real! People don’t change for other people. The poor guys can barely change for themselves! They will reform themselves, only when they’re ready to.

So, now is the time to dust off your bruised Superwoman ego, and face the reality that ukay-ukay finds are best confined to hangers and closets. That “second-hands” are still hand-me-downs with a price tag. That sometimes, there’s a good and very valid reason why somebody else had to dispose of them.

And that, kissing frogs can just be kissing frogs, warts and all. Without hoping, without waiting, for them to turn into a prince.


Grich’s reply, posted 15th JUNE 2005, 9:37 PM:

I wonder why I am not fond of ukay shopping as much as other women. Not because I am a snotty, “designer only” biatch, but really because I hate joining the throng of people digging into what seem to be a senseless heap of clothes. I hate the fact that a girl can just snatch away a good old Versace find right under my nose even when its already in my hands! How barbaric, huh? Hehehe.

So maybe, this tells me one thing: That I don’t want to find my man in that senseless heap. I want him to be too special to even end up in that heap. I mean, I want him to be the old blue shirt his owner doesn’t want to give away just because it’s very comfortable.

Basta, something like that ;-)


6 thoughts on “ukay-ukay shopping and kissing frogs

  1. Just like you, I’m not fond of ukay-ukay. I’m not even into pricey or designer clothes either. I love shopping for cheap clothes….but ukay-ukay flusters me some times maybe because of the crappy smell, or the way it was just thrown into a pile or is it because I really don’t want to spend time digging through other people’s clothes. Maybe because I love seeing merchandise nicely and neatly displayed in order. Or I love the fresh smell of newness…or because I don’t want to spend precious time. I had experienced ukay-ukay shopping of course, and probably will do it again. But I don’t really look forward to it as much as other women do.

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