On a delivery truck:
“NOT FOR HERE”
On a self-service restaurant in Cebu:
“PLEASE HELP OUR COMFORT ROOM CLEAN”
In Mandaue City:
“CR FOR SALE”
I saw the sign, CR FOR SALE one time I waded through the makeshift stalls known as Mandaue City public market. Amusing, indeed!
If you haven’t gone to Mandaue City public market, let me create a picture of it. The temporary stalls mushroomed. Buyers and sellers look like multitude of army who are lost in the battle. You can pass through the wet and muddy (the mud is black and very dirty) passage (too narrow) between stalls. There is a lavish display of vegetables, fish, fruits, meat, and almost anything you can imagine in a public market. It’s obviously noisy. Explore the place and you will meet flies, thousands of them. If you won’t sneeze on the foul smell, you are fortunate! The smell is a concoction of the aroma of fresh fruits, the irritating smell of animal carcass, and foul smell of unfresh fish.
I don’t know if there is someone who is interested to “buy” the CR. But for 10 pesos, some will bravely use the facility. Many of them are vendors. I didn’t bother to check if the toilet is clean because I may be punishing myself if I do such.
Comfort Room is the term used to describe a public toilet in the Philippines. It is simply referred to as the CR. But I don’t think if you find it “comfortable” to use most of public CR. Though, there are also many clean public toilet I’ve known like the public toilet along the highway in Tangub City.
Restrooms can make or break the public perception of a restaurant, or other facility an online article says. It affect one’s perception of a town or city. A place with clean toilet is highly regarded. One leader in one of the ASEAN countries said that you can effectively judge the personality of your neighbor by looking into his toilet.
Many have developed the “fear” of using public toilet. I personally avoid, as much as I could, using public toilet. This is even true in United States. According to an online article, Americans, according to a recent survey, are largely disgusted by public facilities. Nearly 30 percent of 1,001 Americans polled recently by an independent organization say they avoid public restrooms at all costs because of a fear of germs. The same article added, another 40 percent who are “brave enough” to use public bathrooms flush with their feet. And 60 percent responding to the Impulse Research Corp.-survey say they don’t touch anything in a bathroom, going as far as to squat over the seat.
I think the local government units and most especially the health department (DOH) must look into the issue of cleanliness of public restroom. It doesn’t need to sparkle, just need to be clean for public use. This is especially needed as we aim to boost the tourism industry.
A grafitti inside the cubicle of a ladies’ C.R. in a university:
“PLEASE DON’T SIT LIKE A FROG, SIT LIKE A QUEEN.” (from online forum)
At a men’s comfort room, above a urinal:(maybe from UP Diliman dorm)
“HAWAK MO ANG KINABUKASAN NG BAYAN!!!” (from online forum)
by Jerry G. Gervacio
Mandaue City, June 2007