It wasn’t easy.
Not for regular Filipino males such as myself who place very little premium on physical appearance and cleanliness.
But it had to be done. And quickly.
Yes, ladies and lesbians, gays and gentlemen, trannies, tramps, and tarts, butches, bitc*es, and bastards, I had a facial.
I’m not exactly proud of it.
Allowing a stranger to smear mud, oil, and fruit extracts on your face is a decision that doesn’t come naturally to most men. Or at least not to me it doesn’t.
Sure, it’s clean. It’s probably even healthy.
But even in an age when metrosexuals and fashionistas reign supreme, I remain skeptical whether men should get regular facials at all.
Whatever happened to good old soap and water?
Have they gone the way of the pager, the 56k dial-up connection, and — with all due respect to communists — communism?
Apparently, they have, at least for some males excluding myself.
An informal poll I undertook via text messaging indicated that some of my friends use facial cleansers, others use astringents, and, as expected, a few had regular facials.
It’s still soap and water for me.
They remain my weapons of choice in the daily struggle against stubborn dirt and noxious body odor, a never-ending war in which I occasionally lose.
Despite their easy availability, I know well enough that sometimes soap and water may be insufficient or inappropriate in certain instances.
Which explains why the only time I agreed to get a facial was a few hours before I got married. This was seven years and seventy-seven pimples ago.
I did it for my bride, the occasion, and our guests, some of whom I have never had the misfortune of meeting again. But that’s another story.
My latest decision to get a facial involved no such grand event.
One day, while at the office, a female co-worker lunged at me without any explanation at all.
With nothing but her bare hands and a maniacal smile on her face, she attacked my left cheek and tried to pierce what she correctly diagnosed as a whitehead, also known as a non-inflamed pore blocked with sebum, according to Wikipedia.
“Hold still,” she told me, her right palm pushing my nose up, threatening to deform it.
“I’m good at this.”
Seconds later, she pressed her thumbs together in an effort to remove the offensive pore.
She failed. The stubborn sebum stayed secure, subcutaneously speaking.
It didn’t take long for me to get the message.
So the next day, I decided to go the whole hog.
I went for the facial after I got a haircut.
The process took more than an hour.
Eyes closed, I lay prostrate on a reclined barber’s chair while a clear, hollow tube the size of a pencil sucked away at the accumulated facial dirt of the past seven years.
It wasn’t an easy job for Facial Vacuum Guy, who said that his harvest of my facial debris was his most bountiful in recent memory.
Nor was it a walk in the park for me.
All throughout the procedure, my legs fell asleep, my butt turned numb, and my back incurred so much pain that I wished for a paracetamol overdose.
But then again, who was I to complain?
These vexations were just the price of male vanity.
Also published in GMANews.TV.