Friday, August 10, 2012

Now You Nose

Tomas* has become one of the popular models at the gay bar he worked for, named after a lifelike wooden carving. A typical gay bar macho dancer, he has transferred from various establishments over the past couple of years. He only had a few regular customers in those previous bars. Yet, he only struck gold at the last bar he worked for. 

Only a few know the secret to his success. Unless you've really observed him before and after his latest transfer... or transformation. 

Tomas already looked promising before. Despite being a typical probinsyano lad (you could tell from his strong accent), he's tall and fair-skinned. Before building up his chest and shoulders, he already had a lean frame, but on the skinny side. But what kept him from truly standing out among his co-workers was his face; he looked ordinary. His high cheekbones or sculptured jawline were not enough to make him look like a top gay bar model.

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So before Tomas transferred to his current gay bar, he looked as if he got a nose job. The bridge of his nose was made straight and prominent. The cartilage at the tip and the sides were reduced. Was this the same procedure that Papa Piolo supposedly had? (Incidentally, Tomas* gay bar name is shared with Papa P's younger, "straight and more masculine" lookalike in ABS-CBN). 

Just like the Philippine entertainment industry, the use of nose jobs to improve one's looks and "commercial viability" aren't really new to the gay bar industry. You won't notice it but some of the most good-looking macho dancers particularly in the huge Quezon City bars have already had their "jobs." 

Who do they run to for their uplift? There is one plastic surgeon, popular among those working in the gay bar industry, from male models to the transgendered impersonators. Why has he become the go-to guy? Referrals. And the fact that this surgeon also owns gay bars. There was even a rumor that way back, he didn't allow newbies to become macho dancers in his bar unless these men undergo the knife. Not sure if until now.

Oddly, I had the chance to chat with him when I got interested about getting my own. He said there are two types of nose jobs he does on his dancers. One is the "not so obvious" change and the other is "total transformation." Guys who undergo the "not so obvious" nose job already have a strong clientele base. Guys who have worked for a long time but don't seem to become top earning models (ie. not so kaguwapuhan), require a major makeover. The effect of the nose job needs to be so evident that the gay bar's loyal clientele won't recognize him the next time he goes on stage. He'd look as if a whole new macho dancer.

Investment pays off for the macho dancers, particularly those who shoulder the hefty sum. When an all-the-way macho dancer from Home Base* saved his earnings for months to take a 2-week break to undergo nose surgery (from sarat to less prominent), upon his return, he became an in-demand dancer among the ladies and the foreigners, despite his diminutive frame and -er-ish physique.

I've read how one's nose can make or break one's over-all facial features, as the nose is the face's central point on one's face. Who knew that a simple yet expensive procedure to the face can drastically improve one's earnings? Kung kara nga lang naman ang puhunan, e di pag gastusan na nga. 

Looking at Tomas's now near-perfection kaguwapuhan, I wouldn't distinguish at first what exactly was different with him. I knew something had improved. And my theory regarding Tomas was sort of proven when I saw a modeling photo of him from a male pageant last year. At that photo, he looked somewhat "average" compared to the now demi-god status he has at the gay bar named after a lifelike wooden sculpture (featured in a recent TV remake, whose main actor also supposedly underwent the same surgery to drastically improve his standing in his network).

So the next time you see a macho dancer who looks too perfect for the gay bar industry, scrutinize his  face again. The secret is all in the know.

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
twitter: @gbgoer

*Names here are not the bars nor macho dancers' real names or their actual bar stage names. Though, the pseudonyms are somehow connected to their actual bar stage names.

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