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Article from Jingle Magazine chapter XXXVII

JEPROX KA BA, PARE?

Author not listed

One thing about us inhabitants of this land we so lovingly contract as 'Pinas, we never run out of labels for everybody, ourselves included. Our predilection for names runs from the usual standardized("freak", "bum", "cat", "chick") to Gapo parlance that eventually catches up in the big city, to the quiemeng Manhattanese like the diction of so many writers who want to sound like quiemeng Manhattanese authors, to sward lingo, "'chos, to the thoroughly and, at times, outrageously indigenous (like "S.C.," "baduy" or "jeprox").

We call your attention to the last term. Jeprox has come about as a separate social and cultural entity, that is, another one of them cliques. As behooves normal Pinoys with a sense of regionalism, segregation and distinction, the term has come to connote a different breed of this our over-populated, intoxicated, at-times-spaced-out generation, which keeps on breeding so many sub-groups, it's getting to be obscene. Seriously, our enormous promiscuity seems to be manifest in the rate we sprout up in groups.

Now any sociology professor worth his salt will tell you that groups are formed in order to give a sense of belonging, and we

are not one to contest sociology scholars. And the jeprox must surely know where they belong, what with the numerous prerequisites before the final conferment of the title. It has become some sort of non-conformist conformity, where what matters is the incidental, the outward show, what-the-eye-can-see, a kind of reversed show-offmanship where the lesser you are, the more "in" you become.

Who are the Jeprox? OK, brace yourself, it might fit you and me:

First, with regard to music, and musical inclinations. Jeprox fall head over rock. raw, rugged, devil may care rock, the kind that breeds the punk rock music in Nuyok or better, the Bay City area, with no-holds-barred affection, dedication and sometimes with dubious sincerity. If it's rock, it's OK, and no prejudices, please. Ergo, most invariably, the station their ears are plugged into (plastered onto, as it were) is 780 AM, and this fact is so proudly bannered in several manners, silk-screened on T-shirts, and sometimes just plain scribbled with red or black pentel pen, stickered on windshields, notebooks, and on every imaginable merchandise.

There has to be a certain pedantry about contemporary music. Once in a jazz concert at Jefferson, the performers started playing a familiar tune, and a group that looked like high school kids who were obviously trying to be with it simultaneously exclaimed, Wow, pare, 'yan yung own compositions niya! It was not; it was Mangione's "Hill where the Lord hides". Anyway....

The hair has got to have certain distinguishing features: very long, or kalbo, or tied ala-Hanopol, or plopped down with a golf hat that is either terry cloth or denim, usually white, but, Good Heavens, some prefer pink or yellow. Each to his own taste, really, Jeprox talaga.

The eyes most easily give the jeprox away, as if he has to be given away.. They are usually glassy, heavy lidded, antok-type, or just straining to be. This is accompanied by what else but the matching slurred speech.

Which brings us to the essential digression: The jeprox is very well versed, through months of asidous learning, on mind-blowers, or, in more outlawed dialect, d-r-u-g-s. He has tried all, or so he will readily claim if not within earshot of the Martial Law.

On the less narcotic side, he smokes Marlboro. Nothing else, (True. But of course, majority out of jeprox circle prefers Hope. OK, Louie?)

His get-up is standardized: t-shirt or sando or workshirt, maong pants, preferably faded-out, or greased, or de-baston (this is the IN thing now) and sandals or Adidas. He will mostly tote along a large shoulder bag. Ano kayang laman? Also he carries the ubiquitous hairbrush, his phallic symbol.

If you have an insatiable appetite for raw animal sex, with a matching vocabulary, you're jeprox. Jeprox still clings to the old conquest syndrome, where the more you lay, the better. His love life revolves around the sexual, and where heartbreaks permit, the downright mushy. He can also turn lovey-dovey, and boy, talk about sexuality. He can tell you the best spots to neck in, to pet in, and he knows the best room in Dahlia. Groupies are a way of life for him.

Jeprox never gets totally mystic, but he always tries to be one. The standing rule is, Matter over Mind. Aside from '60s cc's, he has never tried mind tripping, with the probable exception of Castaneda and yoga. If he's into yoga, you can rest assured he does his morning pranayama out on the streets, where everybody can plain old see. He may even talk to plants and trees. He has gone to either Ananda Marga or Hare Krishna or both.

Most probably, he doesn't know a thing about poetry, but he can tell you he's heard that gallery or this gallery before. He can't tell you, of course, what Expressionism did to Van Gogh, because that's too cerebral. Try x-rated quickies. You should be luckier. He has a vague inkling of all the 72 positions, but he won't admit it. If asked for a graphical illustration, he will either turn you down or do it with considerable and admirable improvisation. Like we always say, necessity has always been the primeval-mother of invention.

If there isn't rock concert going on, a happening close to sacred ritual to the jeprox, you can see him almost anywhere: around school campuses, at Harrison, Farmer's, QUAD, the kanto, the beer joints, anywhere. The street's the most homely place. Just a figure cut out for long, solitary walks. Even with a group, he stands out (or stinks out).

If he's not into sex, he's into war. There is still a considerable amount of the late '60s carry-over of war-freakiness, with an eye for an eye and denture for denture. He can guiltlessly pound a person at the drop of a hat. One can never call him a child of the Age of Aquarius. Try the Age of Aries.

So. Right, the typical jeprox is a drop-out. He's prefer a bigger school called LIFE, anytime. He's sad behind the happy mask...like the music he digs, he dreams his life away. Talk of an old jeprox? Bakit pa? Enough.This and the following column inches will now give vent to our overwhelming urge to be dogmatic, pontifical, or just plain naggy. We have come to believe that in the jeprox's desire to be independent of present modes, he has become, inadvertently or not, dependent upon his own fixed rules, not so conscious of the need to be different, conscious of a different lifestyle, kuno. We have so often thought that what really matters is for one to do his own thing regardless of what people think or dictate, as long as it does no one hassle.

As it is, our labels of being "in" and "out" require one to force oneself into a category, just to belong. Whatever happened to individuality?

OK, we'll cut that out. We never were good at sermons. We'll just dish out the last word (hopefully). One telltale sign of the jeprox is, if he's reading this to the last line, he will most probably stutter with a snap of the finger and a wag of the head, "Wow naman, pare....bakit naman?" (NOTE: And by the way, just curious: whoever coined the word "jeprox"? Sa university belt ba 'to nauso or imported sa Gapo? Baka naman dala ng mga pa-hips sa Cavite? Anyone who can prove he invented the now-historical word, take centerstage, please. You're cute and we love you. You're truly jeprox.)

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