When I was at my first duty station in the Marine Corps, the powers that be wanted everyone getting fresh haircuts weekly. All men, of course. At later duty stations, two weeks seemed normal for me. It all depended on how fast my hair grew. Yes, sometimes it grew fast and sometimes it grew slow.
More than 19 years after retiring from the Marine Corps, I still get good haircuts. My wife, Josie, likes my hair short even if I don’t really care.
Until recently, I got all my haircuts at a barber shop in downtown Olongapo, on Magsaysay Drive next to the foreign currency money exchange (DBS is displayed on the building). I don’t remember its name (“Alimar”, I think) and it’s not important. The cost of a haircut there was 50 pesos and I used to tip the barber another 50 pesos. That was around two dollars every time I got around to going there. Cheap.
Unfortunately, my haircuts were always different. They had six or seven barber chairs but rarely had barbers at each one. They changed barbers a lot and I never saw the same barber twice.
A sister-in-law’s husband, Alex, decided to practice cutting people’s hair back in April of 2017. He didn’t charge anything from anyone. Not even me. He’s also the guy who drives for me and Josie on occasion when he’s not at his regular job, driving a taxi.
He cut off all the hair of the first two victims, as they requested. I was the third victim, but I didn’t get all my hair cut off.
Alex did a pretty good job, all things considered. It wasn’t a great haircut but by the time I went out in public again, no one could tell. Of course, I won’t be getting any haircuts from him again.
I didn’t know it until someone told me, but there’s a barber shop pretty close to home. If I go down the hill to the end of the street and make a left at the main crossroad, it’s only about a hundred feet from the corner and across the street. There’s a barangay outpost (with a jail) on the left corner. It’s within walking distance and I guess about a half a mile.
That’s where I got my last haircut a week or so ago. I requested a “semi-kalbo”, which means very, very short. His barber shop consists of two barber chairs behind a garage door. Three garage doors are at the bottom of a house. Another garage door leads to a small Internet café. I have no idea what the third one leads to. I suppose the barber lives in the house above.
The barber did a really good job and he didn’t take long at all. His price was the same as the other barber shops and I left him with 100 pesos. I’ll be getting all my haircuts at his barber shop from now on. That is, unless something happens and he’s not available when I need him. And I’m flexible, of course.
Originally published in April of 2017. Updated for readability and minor corrections.