The Evolution of Signature Astigin Porma of Saudi OFWs

I’ve never really been drawn to glue my optical organs to my cellphone whenever I’m at the gatehouse before boarding. I do some other things such as looking at the ceiling or to anything that’s visually appealing and connect what I’m feeling to it; engage a seatmate into a conversation (if it’s a friend of course); take random snapshots of whatever I see worthy…You get the picture.

This time around, something utterly cute and disturbing at the same time got my attention. While I was busy killing time and sipping my favorite drink, I noticed a gazillion different signature astigin porma (fashion statements/flair) of fellow OFWs coming in. My writing mojo was stirred when that empty seat in front of me was suddenly occupied. Add to that the other, for lack of a better word to describe it, miscreants of the same blunder who were surfacing like bean sprouts the moment I kept my eye on them.

By who? The fuels to my muse. But let’s skip the details for now because they are as a unit the evolution’s highlight. The meat you say.

Much to my delight, I came up with this blogpost and out of the spirit of constructive criticism. Or so I thought?

Here are the three stages that are in order based on the observation of a millennial OFW:

Astigin Porma No. 1: The Classic (with Gold Jewelry)

I’m a 90s kid and from what I could remember, my uncle never missed wearing three (3) rings, a bracelet on both wrists, and a thick piece of necklace whenever he comes home for vacation. The same was depicted in movies until the early 2000s, if my recollection is correct.

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That was the reason why my elder sister asked about the pieces of jewelry on my neck and hands when I first got home for vacation in 2013.

On the contrary, I’ll never be one for ostentatious jewelry display. I don’t have a penchant for wearing them either.

Nevertheless, I still saw this signature porma on a few quadragenarians and quinquagenarians.

Astigin Porma No. 2: The Future (with Airpods/Bluetooth Headphones or Earbuds)

This is actually the future of this porma, I think. But it’s nowhere near the visibility and domination of the number 1’s.

I must confess I belonged to this at one point back in 2015 vacation when I had my first Bluetooth headphones. Thank goodness I felt the awkwardness of thinking, and, to some degree, expecting, that I was the only one who has that signature porma—of wearing headphones— but turned out there were too many. A lot more than I’ve expected.

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To our ever cheerful salubong peeps on the other side of the taxi bay of the airports, haven’t you noticed how common those audiophile must-haves cum-pamporma in or over our ears are each time we emerge from the exits?

Astigin Porma No. 3: The Nerves (The Shades’ Effect)

I get it. We all want to be different especially celebrities who have an absolute, general excuse: for them not be mobbed by fans equated to enjoying what they really came for at a particular place.

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But for non-celebrities, the right time and place must be considered. Otherwise, it’s nothing but a faux pas.

This is now the part that really got my attention, which I cut from one of the foregoing paragraphs…Bro…sis…really? Shades! I checked the time to give you a leeway but it was effing 6:30 PM—30 minutes before boarding. It was already pretty dark outside even. *Sigh*

Pictures of numbers 2 and 3 are so apparent during waiting time; in the middle of the flight on queues at the lavatories; when the airbus has just landed; or right after taking the bags from the overhead bins.

…In hindsight, I actually admire the people who compelled me to write this because they made me understand something important. And that is, that everyone deserves to have all the flair of angas or confidence that come from feeling great—from wearing any those accessories—as long as no one gets trampled on insodoing. Besides, there’s no written rule that says only famous or prominent people have the right to wear jewelry, headphones, or shades. I’m not aware of any established qualifiers about it either.

I’m envisioning a world where people will champion each other’s confidence as we speak. The next time I’m in the same situation, I’ll see to it that I’ll take my hats off to them or do the same.

So what if I’m not Samrath Bhau Moze. The hell I care if I’m no Neymar either. Most importantly, I don’t give a damn if I’m not Justin Bieber. The world will still revolve if I wear my jewelry made of Saudi gold, my Beats headphones, my Ray-Ban aviator sunnies, my Boho bracelets, or whatever fashion accessory the proverbial porma becomes.


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