CR for Sale!

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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)

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by Jerry G. Gervacio
Mandaue City, June 2007

Great things happen in Cebu!

Cebu ICT 2007 International Conference and Exhibition

Cebu has always been hosting great things! If my lolo is alive, he will remind me about the great Battle of Mactan. If my lolo is here, I will detail to him the success of ASEAN summit, and I will boast to him the Cebu ICT 2007 International Conference and Exhibition that will be held on June 26-28, 2007.

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Whatever and Well

Whatever and Well
The message in Missing Felimon’s Englisera

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I loved more than one woman in my life. But not once did I told one of them the Bisaya equivalent of “I love you.” Day, gihigugma ko ikaw. I didn’t really know why. Was it because I felt that it might not be “appropriate” to say so? Or was it because I was afraid that she might laugh at it? Maybe, I simply found it comfortable to express my innermost feeling in a foreign language than with my first language.

I realize this not until I first hear Missing Felimon’s song, Englisera. The song artistically beats my mind and rythmically touches my heart with its sincere message I understand.

Englisera relates to our contemporary society which still have some traces of colonial mentality. As the line goes, “Bahala nag luod basta gikan sa Hollywood’.

Many still find all those that come from other countries as better than those come from our own country. According to Wikipedia:

In the Philippines colonial mentality is most evident in the existence of favoritism for Filipino mestizos (primarily those of native Filipino and white ancestry, but also indigenous Filipino and Chinese, and other ethnic groups) in the entertainment industry and mass media, in which they have received extensive exposure despite constituting a small population in the country.

This is manifested by many who prefer to listen to English song to be “in” than Bisaya songs which often tagged as “baduy”.

Englisera is not just a song about love. It is not only about a man who fall in love with a lady who went away with “dirty old foreigner” to fulfill, at least her American dream.

Giingnan ko sa imong friends
Nga nikuyog ka kuno sa imong ka textmate nga kano
Nanglimbawt akong balhibo sa nasayran ko nga
Ang kano otsenta na..

The last stanza of the song doesn’t discourage us to learn English nor to use English. It’s on the mentality towards it.

Still I, say i love you though your hurting me so
Bahala nag makahilak ang lolo kong magbabalak
I tell him, well my lolo i’m your stupid apo
Naminaw lang unta ako sa tambag mo
Now i’m too hurt to learn an English word or two

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by Jerry G. Gervacio
Mandaue City, June 2007


Seeking way out

Seeking way out
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An 18-year old guy sought advice from listeners of a popular call-in radio program. Though he did not tag himself as drug addict but he sounded like he suspected that he already became a drug dependent. He wanted to stop using drugs but he does not know what to do.

Substance abuse and chemical dependency is common among teens. The 18-year old guy is just one of those who are seeking way out, yet continue to get enslaved with dependency. A friend opined that the solution is simple; stop using drugs and the dependent will be out of dependency. I find it logical but I wonder why such simple logic seems to be very difficult to implement. Many have proposed that drug lords and drug peddlers must be persecuted. If there are no sellers, there will be no buyers. But isn’t the producer produce because the market exists? It’s just like debating on which comes first, egg or chicken!

It is indeed difficult to get out from drug dependency.

The good news: there are ways out!

The 18-year old caller did the first move. The first important move for a dependent to get out from dependency is admission that he has the problem and that he needs help. The logic is simple. Identifying the problem before seeking solutions. If he was still on denial stage, it will be difficult to help him.

Some advised the caller to divert his attention to other things such as sports. Good advice, indeed! Craving for drugs is not only physical but psychological as well. It is also about setting one’s mind. Of course, it has also something to do with the dependent’s association. If he continues to associate with his friend who are using drugs, go to places that may trigger his desire to use drugs, or plunge into the situation that ignite craving, then, he likely aggravate his problem. Lifestyle check is important.

It is always safe to seek professional help. The caller may opt to rehabilitation programs. It may be expensive but it is of great help. However, rehabilitation is not a guaranty for recovery. There are many cases where one has graduated from one chemical dependency treatment center to another, yet he goes back to what he used to be. It is because recovery is a choice and treatment or rehabilitation is just a help. To add, recovery are both decision and commitment.

I think the most important is the support group for those who are seeking recovery. The help and support of the family counts most.

We are in a culture where drug dependency is condemned. I don’t question that but it goes beyond. Instead of the action, we sometimes mistakingly condemn the person. By doing such, we send a message to drug dependent that they are outcasts of the society. In effect, the dependent will continue to seek refuge under the chemical influence.

I believe that the best thing we can do is to create an atmosphere where those who have chemical dependency problem becomes more open. This kind of atmosphere discourages someone to mistakingly seek temporary “shelter” through chemicals. You may have noticed that I try to avoid the term drug addict because I have realized that the term addict carry different meaning. It becomes synonymous to contagious disease. But I find the term addiction safe to use.

A ridiculous advice surfaced. Someone said that the caller drink beer or liquor when he craves for drugs! I think it is a big mistake to say that drinking liquor is better than taking drugs. Both are intoxicating substance. Besides, liquor and drugs are closely associated. A drunk person most likely can’t control the impulse to take drugs, as those who had took drugs most likely want to drink liquor.

From the mixed reactions of those participated in the radio program, I find it safe to conclude that we still need more so that we understand drug dependency – a social problem that persist despite of the efforts exerted to eradicate it.

As responsible member of our community, each has responsibility to take part.

Postscript:
An interesting fact was revealed by the caller. He mentioned that he bought and took up “shabu” in Duljo Fatima, A. Lopez, and Pasil. Are these places the hotspots in Cebu? Just asking..

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by Jerry G. Gervacio
Mandaue City, June 2007

Anger Management

Anger is costly. In Lahug, Cebu City the cost of anger affects the poor and innocent school children.

The vindictive anger of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña to Mary Ann Delos Santos prompt him to stop the construction of a school building in Barangay Lahug. He even vowed to starve the barangay of projects from City Hall.

Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry, wrote Lyman Abbott. But the kind of anger the city’s father is showing to the affected schoolchildren is a bad lesson.

He who angers you conquers you, wrote Elizabeth Kenny. But in the case of the Cebu City mayor, his anger failed to conquer delos Santos. Instead, it challenges her to pursue the construction of the school building through her “PISO Mo, Eskwelahan Ko” campaign. Now, Osmeña becomes the antagonist of Osmeña-delos Santos political epic.

A Korean proverb says, if you kick a stone in anger, you’ll hurt your own foot. The mayor indeed hurt his own foot. He must remember that “resentment, anger, frustration, worry, disappointment—negative emotional states, justified or not, take a toll on [his] heart, brain and body. Then, I give him my unsolicited advice: “Don’t let justified emotions rob your health and well-being.”

As alternative, I suggest that the “good” mayor shall watch the movie, Anger Management. If there is Anger Management Seminar, I strongly advice him to attend. For his convenience, he can surf the net. There are many tips on how to control anger and treatise on the ‘anatomy’ of anger. Here are some:

These online articles are also recommended as a must-read for our leaders. These will help our leaders on how to process the post election anger.

As a result, our leaders can focus more on developmental concerns rather than personal matters.

I hope the “noisy” Cayetano will have time to read those online articles.

Aristotle has a good observation about anger. Anybody can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody’s power, that is not easy.

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by Jerry G. Gervacio
Mandaue City, June 2007