ON A NIGHOUT in Eastwood’s streetside club fare, spot what the barflies are clutching. Think again, not faux designer smoke sticks but glowing phosphorescent white screens. No, this is not ersatz or the twilight zone: this is the future-shock of mobile communication technology. The sleek and the savvy (buzzwords in this Age of Apple) wavelet of new generation mobile phones revolutionized the gadget’s ho-hum former functions as mere yak units, instant messengers, and calendar organizers. Now, cellular phones serve as handy toolboxes, multimedia diaries, and even fashion statements to accessorize outfits with. Dull monotone and eye-squinting displays have definitely gone to yore, and well, to rusty recycle bins and trash dumps. Today’s mobile phones are also video recorders, snap-shooters, sound boxes, game consoles (with Java-powered games better than second-generation Nintendo), and more. Streaming videos, megapixilated photos, true-tone songs, and game packages are easily downloaded–sometimes uploaded as well–via the growing integration of these high-bandwidth handhelds and the Internet. As declared by international think-tank The Media Center: “Forget using a cell phone just to talk. Wireless devices connect a mobile society with its news, information and services.” Thanks to an increasingly mobile lifestyle, the dividing line between media producer and consumer has been blurred, merging both roles into that of the User. Partly propelling this movement is the global phenomenon of communication providers doubling as ISPs at the same time. Gauging on the milestone successes of yesteryear’s personal-computer and palm-top revolutions, communication providers know better to steer the direction of “smartphones” to greater connectivity and networked interactivity. Click on your provider’s Web menu and you’re well on your way to cyberspace. This venture is epitomized by the Blackberry–that must-have nerdstuff on the block. Just wider than a palm’s spread, this cellular phone cum palm PC is no way heavier or bulkier than the average broadband 3G device. On the one hand, it can do much more. It can open up to ten “windows” so email management and web surfing don’t go tangling and scrambling. Apple’s iPhone is also set to take its share in the worldwide market. Evolving mobile phone technology seems to be subscribing to the 21st century’s business tenet: give it to those who want it and they’ll eventually need it. And the Me Generation–this subculture of informed and constantly wired young global denizens–is its prime target. So when you barhop in Malate next time, stop at your feet, observe, and look on: the future is shaping with a sip of club soda amid the instamatic glow of rock music: Someone is ignoring a blaring ringing phone and you know why that is.