Musings

For a society that knows and talks too much

We seldom or do not at all listen; Our aim has become to hear and read, and not to understand. 

For a society that does not want to be judged

We are always the quickest to pass judgment on others, most often, senseless and inaccurate. 

For a society that boasts of a deep and devout religious beliefs

We are the most sinful, remorseless, and unapologetic righteous

For a society that’s known for its courage and bravery

We now hide behind the power of technology masquerading as warriors

For a society that’s praised and known worldwide for its humility 

We have now become so arrogant of nothing.

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Much Ado About The Loo (A Reflection On and About Public Restrooms, Among Other Things)

I remember Spider-man whining about how having superpowers is both a blessing and a curse.

You know what I think is both a blessing and a curse? PUBLIC RESTROOMS.

Public restrooms provide the momentary, but immediate and much-needed comfort and relief. It’s not meant to, but it often serves as a witness and venue for when certain matters/issues need to be dealt with privately. Most of the time, at least in my case, it is where I get the most meaningful reflections and the best creative ideas for writing. Am I the only one who reflects, meditates, or composes essays while peeing?

Public restrooms are a blessing.

All these are quickly disregarded though when you chance upon a public restroom smelling foul. While I know it’s not supposed to smell like your own bathroom, I feel the smell should at least be neutral or clean. Or like a bathroom cleanser, maybe? The foul smell assures you the place has not been properly maintained, and that the stench will more or less stick to your clothes better than magnet on steel. The smell is an assault to the senses. Scratch that. The smell and appearance are an assault to the senses.

One restroom I frequent was recently renovated, and with that came a few new facilities. It now has a huge mirror. The tiles have been changed, too. Gone are the yellowish-used-to-be-white ones it once had. The cubicle doors are likewise brand new, with fully-functioning locks. Gone are the days when I had to hold onto the door while semi-squatting on the toilet. That, by the way, is every woman’s hidden talent. Take a bow, ladies.

Blessings, right?

Not quite. Not with the additional provision of bidets in every cubicle. This one’s a menace. A menace, I tell you.

But first, a brief vocabulary lesson. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines the word ‘bidet’ as “a bathroom fixture used especially for bathing the external genitals and the anal region.” It’s clear which part of one’s body bidets are meant to clean. And although I understand why this particular fixture was provided, I can’t help but also think how bad of an idea it is, particularly in a public restroom. I, for one, feel it’s very unhygienic to have or use bidets in public restrooms, but that’s just me. And this is even assuming, bidets are used properly – correctly. Here’s a thought: what if it is not?

Since the renovation and the installation of bidets, I have never seen this particular restroom this filthy. The cubicle floors are always flooded with puddles of water, and the seats are always doused with a mixture of water and urine. With all the amount of water, err –liquid, you see, you’d think at least the inside of the toilet is clean, right? I give people way too much credit and benefit of the doubt, I know, because it seems with the newly-installed bidets, people have forgotten how to use the toilet flush. Of course, the sink counter is not spared. It would take a whole of effort to leave the restroom with a dry shirt after brushing your teeth.

Unrest and discomfort.  Curses!

From public restrooms and other office or school facilities, to social media, free speech and expression, suffrage – these are all reasons to be thankful. Blessings. If only we do not abuse them. Curses.

But borrowing the words of Uncle Ben in Spider-Man, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Just like with everything you own, have, and enjoy, you have to value it, take care of it, and respect everyone else who uses or has it. You lose that, then everything just plainly becomes a curse, for you and for everyone else.

I still use this particular restroom, mainly because more often I don’t have a choice but to. I still wish for a day when I get to see it in pristine condition, meaning no stench, no unrecognizable liquid in sight — a place that can actually live up to its name — a comfort room.

 

But until then, as with everything else (other public facilities, social media, free speech and expression, suffrage), I will continue to proceed with care and caution, I continue to arm myself with enough toilet paper, (p)wet wipes, and alcohol with every visit.

Edsa

February 25

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I was eight years old when the actual ‘bloodless revolution’ happened; too young to fully-understand what it was all about. But my family, particularly my grandfather and my parents, made sure my brothers and I knew and understood everything as we grew older.

My dad worked for Senator Ninoy Aquino, Jr., while two of my uncles were student activists during the time of Martial Law. To say that my family lived in fear at that time is an understatement.

My war veteran grandfather had every souvenir picture and signed book of Sen. Aquino, an illustration depicting activism made by my uncle, destroyed and burned because anyone_ANYONE who expressed any dissatisfaction of the Marcos dictatorship was ‘taken’ even from the supposed comfort of home, never to return again. Family activist friends had to resort to years of ‘fleeing‘, ‘hiding‘, all because they openly fought to have freedom back.

Back then, no one can express his support to anyone who was against the Marcoses; no one can listen, read, watch anything that wasn’t about the Marcoses; the military can just ‘pick up’ anyone it felt was a threat to the Marcoses. Fear — that was what’s most evident.

Then came 1986.

It was a time when Filipinos finally had the courage to save themselves. A time no Filipino should forget. Never forget the oppression. Never forget the fight.

I believe in gratefulness. I believe in giving back. And even when it is not being sought, I believe in forgiveness. But there are particular times, those that one should learn from, when one should not forget — Martial Rule and Edsa Revolt — very much included.

I was taught (and I will forever hold onto this) that if I so enjoy exercising this amount of freedom, it is but right to educate myself as to how countless men and women fought and gave up their lives for this moment; it is but right to make an educated stand as to what kind of government I wish for my country if only to make Edsa Revolution matter. ‪

 

#‎NeverAgain‬ ‪#‎NeverForget‬ ‪#‎Edsa30‬