I like going to Music One in Greenbelt. It’s one of the few places where I actually still like to go in and browse around for actual physical CDs and DVDs, instead of the usual digital iTunes/Vuze downloads I have learned to patronize over the last couple of years.
It’s a nice cozy place, very well-stocked, and always up-to-date. It isn’t as big as what it used to be a few years ago (I blame Office Warehouse for that), but has better inventory than, say, Odyssey when it comes to covering a great range of genres and styles.
I need to be very honest here; a lot of the stuff I buy here isn’t exactly family-friendly or bookshelf-displayable. As much as I enjoy my classic Disney DVD’s (Robin Hood, anyone?) and suitably artistic indie European movies, the one thing I truly scoop up by the armload at Music One is good old Pinoy softcore porn.
I for one am devastated that the last two years have been very lean as far as the Viva Hot Babes are concerned. If it weren’t for 2007’s incredibly hot Skin City DVD (Hazel Cabrera FTW!), or 2008’s glorious Myles Hernandez/Sachi Sanders Pinoy Kama Sutra 2 coming-out party, I would have probably gone gay. Seriously.
Viva’s Sikreto ni Kuya riff on the Big Brother gave us more full-frontal fluff (ahem) than any other collection in recent memory, but it just didn’t have the same class and character as the wonderfully shameless VHB, whose appeal is probably driven by the fact that about 85% of the members actually have name recall outside of slumdog Cubao/Marcos Highway dives.
But I am digressing. Two things have changed at Music One in recent years, and I find them both quite puzzling.
1. You now have to make a public spectacle of yourself to get to the softcore porn.
The skin DVDs used to have a little aisle of their own, tucked discreetly in one of the corners. You could sift through the latest Sex in Philippine Cinema collection, or track down the special edition of Patricia Javier’s Barenaked DVD in relative privacy, and if you happened to spot your Grade 4 Religion teacher tottering down the aisle towards you, it was a simple matter to duck into the adjoining Blue’s Clues section and pretend to be buying something for your inaanak’s birthday present.
Now, because of the re-sized, more cramped layout of today’s much smaller Music One, porn shopping is no longer something you can do with dignity. Rather than having a nice little off-the-beaten-path nook, you now actually have to climb up onto an elevated stage to get your fix of wholesome, fleshy, Filipina nudie goodness.
This is a source of unnecessary stress, and is the kind of thing that is liable to push me towards illegal pirated torrent downloads. Why can’t a boy shop for porn and maintain some sort of facade of respectability?
But here’s an even worse thing…
2. The secondary Softcore Porn section is located right next to the Learning section.Here, I am not talking about simply having adjacent aisles; the porn is actually literally merchandised right next to the wonderful learning aids and documentaries from National Geographic and the Discovery Channel.
I don’t quite know what to think.
“Loch Ness Discovered” right next to the hormonally-charged future classic, “Ang Laro Ng Buhay“?
“Secrets of the Animal Kingdom” sitting side-by-side with “Boylets“?
“Discovery Presents: Mysterious Journeys” an arm’s reach away from controversial homo-erotic feature film “Sagwan,” which stars current Ultimate Pinoy Hunks darlings The Cappuccinos?
Now, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my career as a marketing professional, it’s that when you arrange your merchandise at the point-of-sale, you try to group complementary products together. People who buy bread typically like buying palaman as well, so you try to sell your Cheez Whiz as near the baked goods aisle.
What kind of message, therefore, is Music One trying to send here? That nerds who patronize NatGeo documentaries are social retards who can’t get any action, and have to resort to sleazy make-believe porn to get their rocks off, instead of making time with a real live flesh-and-blood drunken chick?
Oh wait, it’s all starting to make sense now…