where good deeds are rewarded with apples & the bad with lemons

It’s that time of the month

Rocky’s Barbershop on the 3rd level of Abreeza Mall is my go-to place for my monthly grooming.

It’s not just a woman’s thing but a man’s as well. We men have to go through that monthly ordeal…..of heading to the barbershop and have our locks trimmed. It’s part of the rituals of grooming.

I remember back then when I had to make my way to Anda Street where Mang Doming’s barbershop was to get smartened up with a “white side wall”, the obligatory hairstyle. Either it was the trend or a necessity sanctioned by the school’s ROTC, I do not recall. What I know is the man and the name has become an institution. Just like Jesus, the rich and the poor can be blessed with his almighty scissors.

Prescribed ROTC haircut in high school & college. What’s ROTC? It means you’re lucky.  

Then came the beauty parlors, which is called beauty salons now, where it took some time before men got used to crossing its doors to have their hair cut/styled/coiffed by the beauticians, or the stylists as they are referred to now. The practice became part of the norm with the men finally got rid of the ants in their pants.

Along with the ever-changing times, getting preened has become convenient these days, thank God! The services have come closer to the men with more Doming opening other branches, salons cropping everywhere, and these mane mangers finding themselves in the malls. 

The services have come closer to the men with the mane mangers situating themselves in the malls. 

One I frequent, suffice to say it’s my favorite, is Rocky’s Barbershop at Abreeza Mall’s third level. I’ve been a regular for the past year. It was a “love affair” brought about by convenience (sounds like a fixed/on-line marriage. LOL)—work takes me to Abreeza, I prefer the barbershop over a salon, Rocky’s is in the same mall, and luckily, the barber snipped the hairstyle I asked. Boom! I became a regular, a “suki.”

Before: My “suking” barber gets ready to snip the long & bulky hair.

“Nahiyang,” it’s how we Pinoys call it. Every month for almost a year now, I go to Rocky’s, perch on the barber’s chair and get smartened up by my barber’s able hands. It’s the same exchange each time, “Same style?” and I nod. My barber knows what to do.

What else do I like about Rocky’s Barbershop? The interior is masculine, modern and neat, the very comfortable waiting area with the fresh edition of the day’s newspapers (which can be served by your barber’s chair on a foldable table), small but nice appointments like a bowl of candies by the efficient receptionist’s counter, the floor is ceaselessly cleaned off of snipped hair, the barbers are smart, fresh-looking and well-groomed, no loud chitchats and blaring music that allow clients to grab a power nap, the shampoo area is clean and devoid of clutter, I get a bonus head, back and arm massage to end the monthly session, and more importantly, the staff is polite and efficient.

Masculine interiors & perennially clean, Rocky’s can easily be any man’s favorite “neighborhood” barbershop.

But prior to being a Rocky’s regular in Abreeza, I would always get my haircut in its sister (or brother) company, Big Tom’s in the neighborhood mall—the NCCC Mall, where I have a “suki” barber as well. Big Tom’s, with an open frontage design, offers the same good service.

After: my preferred haircut—all the time. This barber knows what to do.

Lucky for us men, there is one Rocky’s Barbershop in the mall we frequent. Aside from the Abreeza Mall shop, there’s one at SM Lanang Premier and SM City Mall of Davao, Victoria Plaza and Gaisano Mall of Davao.

So the mall is not a dreaded spot for (some) men who prefer to stay home on a weekend. Look at it this way: while accompanying the family to the malls, mom and daughter can shop, kids can enjoy at the play shop, and you can have your hour to yourself and get “pogi-ed” at Rocky’s or Big Tom’s Barbershop, the monthly thing we men have to go through.

Disclaimer: not applicable to the hair-challenged and hippies. J

For more lifestyle and travel stories, visit http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com/ and http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com/.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 05, 2014.

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