When I was young, the barber's pole, with the red, white and blue stripes revolving, was a strong attraction for me. Even if my hair was not yet long, I would ask money from my father to have my haircut at the barber shop located about five blocks away. That was in Sta Mesa Heights, Quezon City.
|Appleton Barber Pole (appleton)|
I still remember those times I visited the shop and every time, I would be asked: Magpapagupit ka? I thought then, and until now, that it was a stupid question. And each time, my answer, in a joking manner, would be: Hindi po. Pwede po ba mag swimming? The barber would give me the stare. I had no preferred barber. I would take the vacant chair and whoever was available would do.
|Keller Hydraulic Barber's Chair (sam'sclubphoto)|
|Collins Barber Chair (ibpic)|
I liked it then, and I still like it now, when the barber would wrap a white protective sheet around the upper part of the body and would clip it at the back. And then another smaller sheet which the barber would remove and dust off once or twice. Then I would hear the next silly question: Ano ba gusto mo? Barber's Cut? To which I would reply: Wala naman po Carpenter's Cut. Eh di Barber's Cut na lang. I would follow this with a smile.
|Beppo's at the Ali Mall in Cubao, Q.C.|
Now, when the barber would start using the master clipper, that was when I would start feeling uncomfortable. He would start pushing my head to any direction he liked and would say, from time to time: Wag kang malikot. When he would begin to cut the hair at the lower head near the neck, I would hear the barber say again: Sinabi nang wag malikot. At dumiretso ka ng upo. I couldn't help it as it was like being tickled.
|Andis Master Clipper (appleton)|
|Antique pair of metal scissors (museumvictoria pic)|
The scary part would come next. That was when the barber would sharpen the razor blade against the thick leather strap. Any untimely move would be unwise as he would cut, with the sharp blade, the edges of the hair near the ears and neck. And when the barber would start applying talc to soothe the skin and the green tonic to make the hair sheeny, I would feel relieved.
|PRO stainless steel razor with pearl wood handle (amazonpic)|
|Diane Styling Comb (barberdepot)|
|The world famous talc (artofmnlinss)|
|For that lustrous hair (redsclassicpic)|
|Omega Brush, Gillette Slim Razor and Old Spice (theshaveden pic)|
|Marv Shaving Brush (appleton)|
Years have passed and I am now a man. A senior citizen. I still like going to the barber shop. I still have no preferred barber. Anyone will do. In fact, I have had my haircut in different places by different barbers. While out of town and when my companions are playing cards, I always look for a barber shop in the locality to while away the time.
Let me see if I can still remember. I had my haircut at the towns of Real and Infanta in the province of Quezon. Another one at Siniloan in Laguna. In Rizal, I've tried Cainta, Taytay, Antipolo and Montalban. In Tagaytay City, I had one near the junction where they used to sell beef and another one at the town proper of Mendez in Cavite. I've tried it in Silang, Indang and Alfonso. Once I drove down the narrow, winding road to the lake shore town of Talisay, Batangas to have my haircut at the town proper. Going farther west, I had my haircut at Lian and Nasugbu, also in Batangas.
|Haircut in an ordinary air-conditioned barber shop is P50. Usually the owner gets 50% while the barber gets the remaining 50%. At first class barber shops, like those in malls, the proprietor gets 60% while the barber pockets 40%.|
|Typical barber shop in most towns|
|There are posters of beautiful landscapes and/ or sexy ladies.|
|Highly skilled barbers are almost everywhere.|
All these were documented with the dates included. Let me continue. I had one in Balanga, Bataan and one in Olongapo City. One in Mabalacat, Pampanga and another one in Dagupan City, Pangasinan. Also in San Fernando, La Union. And many times at Abanao Street in Baguio City. One time in Solano, Nueva Viscaya. Once in Legaspi City, Albay and in Bulan, Sorsogon. One each in Marinduque and Palawan. My list is long. And the farthest was in Inopacan, Leyte. As I said, the barber's pole, wherever it is, draws me to the barber shop. Like a magnet.
|Made-to order brush|
|Scissors used by professional barbers|
|First class barbershop at Holiday Park in Baguio City|
|Kwentong Barbero's interior|
|At Eastwood City in Libis, Quezon City|
|At Sta. Lucia Mall in Cainta, Rizal|
|Barbershops on Otek St. in Baguio City|
|At Abanao St. in Baguio City|
|3 barbershops in a row along the highway in Urdaneta, Pangasinan|
|An old barbershop at the town proper of Binangonan in Rizal province.|