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Gabriel Moltino, 43, farmer- businessman in Benguet, was loading up home supplies for his family last Sunday on his rickety but dependable and sturdy pick-up he parked near the Market Section in Baguio City after delivering his products to vegetable stall owners that early morning.
He paused, wiped sweat from his brow and wished he could bum a cigarette and light up to ease his tiredness but remembered Baguio has a strict “No Smoking” ordinance. So, he leaned on his pick-up instead, biding time for his tiredness to recede and leave him.
Casting his glance at the throng of people at the Market Section, he riveted his attention on a group of young women. They were dressed in clothes that asserted their identity – and maybe aspiration. But Gabriel saw something wrong with the way they dressed.
While the women were decently dressed, they, nonetheless, wore jeans that have rips in them, apparently and deliberately torn in places.
Their knobby knees peeked out from the ripped jeans. Others had their torn jeans baring parts of their thighs while still others had rips in different parts of their jeans that showed small parts of their underwear or buttocks.
Gabriel scratched his tongue, contemplating, “Wonder why they tore their jeans? Saan da met gardinero wenno mannalon a padak (They aint farmers like me).”
For unexplained reason, deliberately torn or pre-ripped jeans sprouted like mushrooms among young and even middle-aged women in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Region 1, pushing one to speculate whether their dressing borders on flaunting or flashing a little bit more thigh and flesh than minimally intended.
Op kors, Gabriel consoled himself, how one lady dresses is purely a personal affair, and left to her opinion as to what’s appropriate to use.
But to deliberately slash in various parts their own pants, use it and go out in public forces Gabriel to consider whether deliberately torn pants make the woman and not character, or whether it is a fashion in a language of women wanting to dress up like men when they are very fortunate to be women.
“Sure, sure, it’s a fad,” Gabriel grumbled to himself, yet he can’t connect the logic behind a person’s whim buying a brand new pair of pants, go home, grab a knife or pair of scissors, butcher the pants, slicing here, there and everywhere, smile contentedly then use it.
“I’m old fashioned and could hardly appreciate virtue of buying an expensive Levi’s denim blue jeans then destroy the wonderful piece of creation. And I have daughters, always pestering me or their mother for money to buy clothes. I’ll be darned if I allow them to buy jeans so they will rip ‘em apart. My daughters are too extravagant,”” Gabriel complained to Ah Kong one day later.
Aha! Ah immediately pounced on Gabriel’s complaint, saying, “Maryosep, my pren. You really have a problem. As for me, no problem. I have five big strapping sons and they’re not extravagant. Even if there are holes and rips in their underwear, they still use them, Can you beat that, eh, Gabriel?”
Still, Ah wonders if these women who rip their jeans are on a gender-related experimentation. He thought about this since society generally tolerates males who use torn jeans, knowing the tearing of their jeans are unintentional or result of overuse of the pants.
Are young women of today out to challenge society’s prescription of gender line by invoking their right to use torn jeans? Ah asked himself. But in this case, there is a difference. While men use jeans until they are torn, women intentionally destroy the pants.
Many nowadays believe they can wear anything with no consequence, also believe clothes don’t have to be clean anymore. The smellier clothes are, the better.
Ah continued, “I can very well understand a pair of jeans torn in places because it is very old, seen its days of usefulness and had served its owner well.”
“But to deliberately buy pre-ripped pants or chop a new one works against the purpose of why clothes were invented in the first place. Its purpose is not comfort but protection,” Ah mused.
Maybe a band of women in CAR and Region 1 are out to rule the world, by showing ripped jeans and advocating a fad of rebellion.
Ah concedes that often, he spotted women pushing in their thirties and using ripped jeans, the rip often running near up their buttocks.
“Anyhow, Gabriel, we gotta seek answers to what is bugging you, ano ikaw sabi, eh?” Ah told Gabriel.
So off they gallivanted to Session Road that day and timidly asked women wearing ripped pants why they enjoy tearing pants. Their common answer to the duo was, “Isu ti kayat mi (What we like). By tearing pants, we have a satisfied mind.”
Nonetheless, they chanced upon a young woman who swore never to use ripped pants again, consequence of her mother admonishing her, “Apay ta ginmatang ka ti pantalon nga inabot-abotan ti bao. (Why did you buy a pair of pants chewed full of holes by a rat?”).