Saturday, September 27, 2008

Image and Respect

Never dress down for the poor. They won't respect you for it. They want their First Lady to look like a million dollars. - Imelda Marcos

Looking around while my wife and daughter were trying out some clothes in a department store, an Arab lady approached me and asked the price of an item she was holding. I smiled and told her “I don’t work here”.

I ask myself, why of all people she came to me and the mirror at the shop gave me the answer. I was wearing a white polo shirt, same as the store employees are wearing. The only difference is the word “SALE” at the back of their shirt in bright red color. I just shake my head and smiled at the similarity.

When I told my wife about the incident, instead of being amused, she went ballistic. “Yan kasi, kung magbihis ka para kang hindi engineer, mas maporma pa ang tea-boy nyo sa opisina!” Of course she’s exaggerating, lamang naman ako ng tatlong paligo sa tea-boy namin. I don’t know how an engineer should dress up. Perhaps a “hard hat” will identify me as one, but I’ll look silly wearing it in the mall.

I wear polo and slack at the office. I like my clothes loose and comfortable and I hate ties. In my opinion it has no practical function except as an ornament. Besides, my job doesn’t require me to enter-act with clients, so there’s no need for me to be very presentable. My company didn’t hire me for my outside appearance, their more interested what’s inside my head. If it’s “looks” their looking for, I wouldn’t be in front of the computer but in front of the camera, half naked and holding a Paco Ranne.

To some, image is important. They equate it with dignity and respect. You see them at business establishments in their “corporate look”, in malls in their signature (or imitation) shirt and“branded” pants. If image is essential, you don’t have to don expensive clothes. A neat, clean appearance and a “cultured” speech would do the job. It’s the way you hold yourself that earns respect. It comes naturally, dictated by how you were raised and educated. But then again I might be wrong if you cite Kris Aquino as an example.

Projecting a “good” image is for politicians and celebrities. They want people to believe on something unreal or artificial. It’s not something for us, ordinary folks, to emulate. For me, I prefer individuals who are WYSIWYG.


  1. ha ha ha,nadale ka dun pards,pagkamalang salesman..pero pards kung saan komportable ang suot,walang pakialamanan dapat,ganun din ang sitwasyon ko dito,ragid akong magsuot,at pag praning minsan suot ko yung butas butas kong pants,tapos naka shirt na may bungo,ha ha ha.pero nasanay na sila sakin,ngayon yung ibang lahi na kamiting ko minsan,pareho na kaming porma,all black at converse shoes ang suot..he he he.

    wala sa kasuotan,at tama ka,utak ang trabaho mo,hindi fashion.:)

  2. Wala talagang silbi ang kurbata. Kung sinuman ang nakaisip na ang mga lalake ay dapat nagkukurbata ay dapat bitayin o i-firing squad.

    We're required to come in business suits 3 days each week. I can tell you that to a person, nobody likes it.

  3. You would find me so dressed up in a corporate suit during weekdays. Because the nature of the job requires so. But off-work/ on weekends, I'm more comfortable in a maong pants and plain shirt. That's the normal me. Nung nasa 'Pinas pa ko, nung few days before my flight nagtuturn over na lang ako sa office, napagkamalan akong fresh grad/junior nung isang staff. But I took no offense. =)

  4. ever, malakas talaga ang enpluwensya mo dyan ano? hehehe.

    panaderos, dito naman, mas pinapaniwalaan ng mga local ang nakakurbata. Maybe they equate it with and educated person. : (

    Ms.Jo, meron kasing face na "blooming" palaging tingnan. I think yours is one, kaya ka napagkakamalang fresh grad.

  5. he he. don't worry. di lang ikaw ang napagkakamalang salesman. ako, pag sa Pinas, naka porma na't lahat, matatanong ka pa rin. paano, yung mga staff naka porma din ng gaya sa yo. Sana nga naka puting long sleeves na lang sila lahat. he he

  6. Re: blooming. Haha!

  7. Hi there, dito sa office, I wear the executive look during Mondays and when I feel like it, especially kung may mga bisita. I wear t-shirts and maong in any other days except those cited. They tell me I look younger than I am.

  8. i rather prefer to be called a salesman sa mall dahil sa mukhang pang salesman ang suot ko pero engineer naman ako kesa mukhang engineer ako sa pananamit pero ang totoo e salesman naman ako.

    tama lang yan pre, WYSIWYG.mas mabuting you look humble pero may maipagmamalaki naman kesa mukhang bigatin pero wala namang binatbat.


  9. R-yo, okay lang din naman sa akin yun attorney. It's an honest mistake at magalang naman ang pagtanong. Ang masama kung ang nagtanong e parang sila ang nagpapasweldo sayo.

    sheng, I think its a must to be presentable in your line of work. Lalo na pag merong bisitang VIPs.

    theo, maraming akong nakikitang ganyan kasi. Ang lakas ng dating pero butas ang bulsa.

  10. dressing up depends on the nature of your job if you are a lawyer,sure you will not wear a t-shirt and a jeans in the court but if you are a rich chinese businessman a tsinelas and t shirt will do, that way you will look more like a taipan billionaire he he he...

  11. nice post. madami akong kilala na mga bosing pero simple lang manamit. :) nakakatawa nga kasi during my first day at work, napagkamalan kong PA yung program manager namin... hushhhhh.... :)

  12. hahaha! naalala ko, our uniform at UST was similar to the attendants at shakeys/mr.donut so when i was at a 7-11 someone asked me about the donuts on display and i was all agog. hahaha!

    btw, the answers to the trivia contest were in the post below the one announcing the winners ;-) just scroll down.

  13. when i was working for museums, i had a 'formal stash' sa office in case i had to meet with the board, but usually you'd find me in chinos and shirts. feeling arteest ;-) when i got to tokyo, buhay estudyante so relaxed ang porma. however, when i turned researcher, i had to start dressing respectably. pero since university-based ok na ang smart casual ;-)

  14. i come to work mostly in jeans and shirt or blouse. if i have a job interview before or after my shift, i dress up i.e. business casual. kaya halata kapag may interview ako, kasi di ako nakamaong! :D

  15. Once I was at Mercury Drug to buy a prescription, the counter was abnormally full of customers but lo and behold, a portion along the counter was without a customer. Of course, doon ako.

    I was surprised when the counter sales person was asking for my ID when I gave him my prescription. I thought the prescribed drug was something for the "user".

    Dehins pala. Ang napwestuhan ko pala ay yung pang senior citizen counter.

    Well, though I've just recently retired from my last employer, it was an availment of early retirement package. Para maganda ang dating.

    I might be dirty but not an old man yet. - Joe Cantada

  16. ed v., LOL. Parang mga chinese sa Binondo ano. Taipan ang dating pag naka "champion" t-shirt, porontung at tsenelas. Tapos may bitbit na brown paper bag. : )

    joshmarie, pag kasama ng boss mo at medyo matanda at simple lang manamit, sigurado yun ang may-ari ng kumpanya.

    caryn, yung uniform ng brother ko dyan sa engineering dept sa UST para silang mga sakristan : )

    mari, ako naman alam nila pag may meeting ako sa "higher ups". I wore polo barong.

    trosp, pwede na yun. Retired and more than twenty years in service equals to "senior citizen". May apo ka na ba? : )