by Elijah E. Dailo
Let’s face it. Sometimes men can be preoccupied with their faces and I mean this in the nicest way possible. Even the tiniest pimple, that loose strand of hair, or simply something that gets stuck on his pearly-white (weh, di nga) teeth, can ruin Mr. Pogi’s over-all look. While women might have more items in their kikay kits, guys tend to have their essentials in what is uncommonly referred to as the “Pogi Pack”.
Maybe men don’t call it that, but ask where they keep their toothbrush and toothpaste and you’ll be shown a small mesh zippered bag, pencil case, or whatever keeps several items in a compact container. That, my friends, is your Pogi Pack. So if you are what they call magandang lalaki or metikoloso or at least if you know someone who is, here is a comprehensive list of Pogi Pack essentials.
Pogi Pack Item #1: Toothbrush and Toothpaste
These two might just be the most essential of the essentials. Picture this, pogi nga kaso ang baho ng hininga. Aguy.
Take the time within your day to ensure your teeth are clean and your breath doesn’t smell like what you last ate for lunch. This resonates with Nathan, a brand assistant, who thinks that you should always have your breath smelling fresh because you won’t know who you’ll meet during the day (yieee).
Here’s a tip: a lot of Mr. Pogi’s who have to brace the morning rush bring their Pogi Packs to school or the office. You can even leave these essentials in your work desk because it saves time since you don’t need to think about brushing your teeth before you leave home.
Pogi Pack Item #2: Mouthwash, Breath Sprays, or Mints
Brushing your teeth is one way to make yourself mas pogi but why not make yourself napaka-pogi? Or at least for Joao, a business analyst, using these items to freshen your breath makes you feel a bit more confident. He usually pops a few breath mints because it serves a dual purpose: it freshens your breath and is something to nibble on when you’re bored.
I personally use Swish Breath Spray instead of bringing the small pocket sized Colgate Plax mouthwash (usually the green or red ones, these are nice to have as well) since it’s quicker than gargling and you need only one or two sprays to freshen your breath. Simply put, it takes away the smell that sticks around after eating, drinking alcohol, or smoking.
Pogi Pack Item #3: Hair Gel, Wax, Pomade, or any Hair Care
From the slick back, pompadour, or just a plain clean crew cut, the hair makes the man. (Not in every sense, of course). Today, you will see a plethora of hair products in the market, and each has its own hold, shine, or whatever hairstyle one wishes to go for.
If you’re a Mr. Pogi who recently had a nice cut at your favorite barber and want to rock that same look continuously, having hairstyling products at your disposal is a great item to bring. The Gatsby, Bench, and Grips hair products are a pretty decent staple to have since they offer the most variety.
Imagine it’s 4:00 PM and you’re about ready to leave when you get a text from your superior – or even better – your cute co-worker (sorry, boss!) inviting you to dinner at 7:00 PM. Having this item in your pack gives you the ability to transform your haggard-ish hair from working all day into that fresh, clean look that’s perfect for a night out.
Pogi Pack Item #4: Comb or Hairbrush
Do you finger comb? (Hi, Liza!) Some guys do and some guys don’t. Having this at your disposal is the perfect weapon to style your hair the way you want it to, or simply to just fix your hair.
This is a good combination with Pogi Pack Item #3. Using a comb or hairbrush, gives you a more defined hairstyle rather than using your fingers.
Mr. Pogi Joao keeps one in his Pogi Pack because of his curly hair – and using this keeps his hairstyle the way it should be anytime and anywhere.
Pogi Pack Item #5: Facial Wash or Soap
I believe this makes you feel so, so, so much better especially after battling the traffic (especially the smoke and heat) of Metro Manila or even after you’ve gone to the gym. For Brian, Karl, and Andre, all hailing from Ateneo de Manila University, this item not only cleans their skin and prevents oiliness after sweating, but also leaves them feeling fresher afterwards.
Karl and Andre recommend Master FaceWash Oil Control since it gets the job done and cheaper than its counterparts while Brian thinks nothing beats a handy bar of Safeguard.
Pogi Pack Item #6: Alcohol or Hand Sanitizer
I asked Mr. Pogi Brian what other items he has in his Pogi Pack and he told me that he usually brings a hand sanitizer. According to him: “It’s more of a mini-OCD-thing. When I hold something dirty or kahit perceived ko na dirty or even if matagal na ko di naghuhugas and I feel like my hands are dirty, I feel na using a hand sanitizer would make them clean.” Having clean hands is not only hygienic and avoids infections or diseases caused by germs or bacteria, but it also indicates that a person takes personal hygiene seriously.
Pogi Pack Item #7: Nail Cutter
This may come as a surprise to other people, but some guys do bring nail clippers. Hiro, a student from the Technological Institute of the Philippines, brings this item because if you’re a commuter like him, hands and fingers always come in contact with several things. It’s no surprise that dirt can build up on our fingernails. The condition of our fingernails can be an indication of good or bad hygiene (eg. dirty nails are a sign that one does not care much about it).
It’s common courtesy, but just remember NOT to cut your nails in public places. If you have to cut your nails, the washroom would be the best place to do this.
Pogi Pack Item #8: Lip Balm
Hiro also adds that bringing lip balm is quite helpful. Ever wondered why you suddenly get dry and chapped lips? Several causes include the changing weather or temperature especially if you commute like he does, dehydration, excessive licking of the lips, and certain medications.
To prevent this from happening, having lip balm is a great addition to your Pogi Pack. Your lips will feel moisturized, smoother, and might I say perkier and kissable. Yun oh, suave.
If you’re looking for a decent selection of lip balms, try Watsons. Nivea’s collection for men or their Essential Care line, and Chapstick are worth checking out.
Pogi Pack Item #9: Oil Control Film
This one is a rare find although some guys carry them in their kits (*cough* me). If you don’t want your face and your forehead shining a la Rihanna (Shine Bright Like a Diamond) then this one is a must for you. Sweating profusely, commuting, and eating oily foods (yes, there is a correlation) can cause oily skin. Using oil film reduces excess oil that builds up on your face.
Clean & Clear Oil Control Film and Gatsby Oil Clear Sheet (the black ones) are the most common out there in the market, which I also highly recommend.
Pogi Pack Item #10: Wet Wipes
Similar to the oil films, these too are rare to find, but just as important to have in a Pogi Pack (*cough* me again and for my friend Mr. Pogi Mitsuhiro). Having these handy wet wipes can clean your face in a jiffy! Think of these as face wash but in tissue form! This is good in case you need a quick clean especially when you’re on-the-go and commuting to the office or school.
Kleenex has a wide variety of wet wipes for all skin types. Their Kleenex Facial and Hand Wipes or Wet Wipes are available in stores everywhere. Watsons has a range of other brands too, if you’re wondering.
What other essentials do you keep in your Pogi Pack? Let us know! And to those who don’t carry one yet or are feeling ashamed to, remember the scout’s motto to be prepared (to look clean, presentable and ready for whatever occasion). And while we’re at it, don’t forget to bring your shining personality because being pogi on the inside and out is always the best option.