Inconsistencies in this World
By Apolinario Villalobos
Life is full of inconsistencies….
One day when I hitched a ride with a lawyer friend, he intentionally broke a traffic rule by beating the red light. When I asked him why he did it, he told me that there was no traffic enforcer anyway…and, he is a LAWyer!
When I visited another friend who I know is an advocate of alternative herbal medicine, I heard her remind the caregiver of her mother about her anti-biotic that should be changed to another brand, obviously, a stronger one for an eighty-three year old. She learned about the strong anti-biotic from her internet browsing. When I reminded her about her advocacy and mentioned garlic as a strong natural anti-biotic, she told me that her mother does not like its taste. What worried me is that my friend is deciding on her own about the synthetic anti-biotic as a “preventive” drug for her aging mother! This friend keeps several boxes of apple cider vinegar at home just in case the Bragg family stops making the expensive medicinal concoction from the apple juice. If she is in the charitable mood, she gives me a bottle or two to take home.
Another friend who is an advocate of family discipline sends his 12-year son out to buy his local rhum at a corner store. He also sends the same son to the kitchen to light his cigarette in the gas range burner, thereby, making the poor boy make the necessary initial puffs to keep it lighted until he has handed it “safely” to his father. And, my friend brags to us, his friends that no son of his would ever have a taste of alcohol or have even just a single puff of cigarette while he is alive!
Then, another friend who tries to project a classy image by boasting about his vegetarian diet hates local vegetables, preferring only western ones such as spinach, lettuce, baby carrots, sweet onions, etc., and never ever local vegetables such as, “saluyot”, “kangkong”, “alogbate”, “upo”, etc. He brags about his preference for “salads” with plenty of strips of bologna, spam, German sausages, or chicken, and sprinkled with his favorite Italian dressing!…and, he is a vegetarian!
Many years ago, when a big religious sect which is a breakaway from the Catholic fold, still held their prayer rallies at Luneta park, I was brought by a friend to one such rally, to introduce me to their kind of music which I really enjoyed, but not the corny preaching of the supposedly charismatic leader who would enthuse his flock to open and invert their umbrella to catch the blessings and grace from “heaven”. My friend was a Bible-quoting guy, obviously, a pro-God in his own way. When we left the area to take a jeepney at T.M. Kalaw St., we were approached along the way by an obviously hungry street child with an open upward palm. Without much thought, he shooed the boy away, as if shooing a pestering fly!
Then, there’s the greatest inconsistency of all…the advertisement aired over a popular radio station about the “ashitaba” herbal medicine which the endorsing woman who supposedly got cured said in Visayan, “ako si….. duna koy almoranas nga maura ug kamatis ka daku, pero nawala ang akong ALMORANAS sukad nag-inom ko ug ashitaba…kinanlan gyud mag-inom ta ug ashitaba aron mawala ang atong ALMORANAS”, or to that effect, which as translated in English is, “ I am…..I have been suffering from a HEMORRHOID as big as tomato, but it was gone when I took ashitaba…we should take ashitaba so that our HEMORRHOID will be gone..” After the statement, came the disclaimer which said, “the ashitaba is not a drug and should not be taken as a medicine as it cannot cure any ailent”….What happens to the endorsement and the testimony of the woman who got cured? Why approve the ad for airing if there is such a bullshit disclaimer? I think something is wrong with the Philippine government agency that approves ads like the one mentioned….for letting such mindless inconsistency be heard all over the country as it makes a fool of the listeners!
Today, every time I am alone and those mentioned above and many others would creep into my mind, I would just let out a deep heavy sigh to lighten up my heavy chest while holding on to my sanity, so as not to cuss. But my big question is: are we living in a world that throbs with senselessness?
The Work Schedule of President Duterte
Jibes with the Current Global Business Trend
By Apolinario Villalobos
If the new Philippine president, Rody Duterte chooses to work from 1:00PM (1300H) to 12:00 (1200H) noon of the following day, I personally view it as a wise decision as it jibes with the current global business trend. In the Philippines as in other countries, the following business entities operate for 24 hours or at the latest in the evening up to midnight: call centers, airlines, shipping lines, bus lines, land transport services, casinos, restaurants and bars, colleges and universities, vocational schools, business districts (Baclaran and Divisoria in Manila), and all kinds of convenient stores.
Since many years ago, there was a call for the rescheduling of the traditional working hours of 8:00AM-5:00PM to 10:00 AM up to evening, to spread the onrush of commuters and motorists as one way of easing the daytime traffic. Only very few establishments heeded the call. Understandably, their foremost reason is economic as extending the work hours of their employees beyond 5 PM would entail overtime, hence, extra expense. Also, some provisions of the provisions in the Labor Code will have to be rewritten as the distinction between the day and evening work schedule has to be redefined. Most importantly, they were apprehensive for security reason, as only very few police are on duty out in the field in the evening.
An observed inclination among the operative agencies such as those responsible for the traffic management and crime prevention is that they become less and less visible as evening sets. They seem to be also observing the “daytime schedule” of offices. When questioned about this, those concerned assert that they maintain “skeleton force”, meaning, reduction in number on duty. As regards the traffic, this is not reasonable and practical because the afternoon rush hour normally starts at 5:00 PM and extends as late as beyond midnight due to the constricted streets in relation to the ever increasing volume of vehicles on the road. In the case of different crimes, there is an adage that says, “the mouse will play when the cat is away”, meaning, the expected commission of crimes is in the evening when the police is almost not visible and, instead is available only on call.
The chosen schedule of the new president has a great effect on the operational system of the Philippine National Police (PNP). It should find ways and means to adjust to such schedule so that they can be visible and speedily available 24/7. If there is a continued recruitment of the Philippine National Police to expand its rank, there is no reason why the evening posting should not match the daytime’s, especially, in areas where there are nocturnal businesses. Its cooperation is expected in reciprocity to the importance that the new president is giving to it, some manifestations of which are the move to decentralize (distributed among regions) some of the agency’s operations to hasten the release of benefits of its members and the increase in their pay.
Those who smirk at the new schedule of Duterte should look beyond the 8-5 traditional work schedule to understand its advantages. With his work schedule, Duterte will be up and working during the time when many establishments/business are also in operation and many unusual activities are expected to happen. Very subtly, he is wisely setting an example and if those who would really want to cooperate with him are intelligent enough, they should follow suit. This early, government people should learn to read between the lines of Duterte statements and be sensitive to what his actions mean….as he is a man of few words.
By the way, in the olden times, the beginning and ending of the “day/date” were reckoned with the setting and rising of the sun. For instance, July 1 began at 6:00 PM when the sun had set and ended when it had risen again at around 6:00 AM, signaling the occurrence of a new day/date. Those who observed such were the pagan sun-worshippers. It is far different from what is observed today, such that the “day/date” starts at one minute past midnight and ends at the following midnight. Today, such practice has been integrated with the lunar (moon) adherence that is why the so-called “lunar calendar” being used today, has days (for the sun), divided among the months (for the moon). This move was one of the many things that the Vatican’s early papacy did to attract the pagans to the Catholic fold.