WE FILIPINOS are noted for being late for appointments, for dates, for meetings, for almost anything.
“Filipino time” is a seemingly accepted Filipino trait of always being late, not on time.
It is one Filipino culture that some people from other countries dislike, especially when they are directly affected because of it.
It is what other Filipinos, the punctual ones, tend to be ashamed of, too.
And how many times did we have a misunderstanding with someone simply because we were tardy, or because of unsynchronized time pieces?
We don’t want to stay in that state, of course, and the Philippine government, specifically the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), initiated an intervention, a strategy, to address this negative Filipino trait.
On May 15, 2013, President Benigno S. Aquino II signed into law Republic Act 10535 or Philippine Standard Time (PhST), which according to DOST Secretary Montejo is a major strategy that would unite and guide the Filipinos in conducting simultaneous activities aimed at redefining the Filipino concept of time.
The law sets one common time for the country’s 7, 107 islands, to do away with the derogatory “Filipino time” and direct it into a positive culture of punctuality.
The law requires all national and local government offices to observe the PhST in all its activities and use it as the official time reference, based on the DOST’s Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) network time protocol or NTP.
PAGASA’s NTP is an internet standard protocol that assures an accurate synchronization to the milliseconds of the computer clock in a network computer.
DOST-PAGASA, the country’s weather bureau, is tasked to ensure a reliable and accurate timekeeping system, as well as the dissemination of precise time throughout the Philippines.
It also monitors the compliance by broadcast stations, both private and government.
The National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) also requires all these broadcast institutions to publicly display PhST in all their programs.
Failure by the owners of private television and radio stations to calibrate and synchronize their time devices with PhST will be fined with not less than P30,000 and not more than P50,000, and in case of second offense, revocation and cancellation of their franchises to operate.
In implementing the rules and regulations of RA 10535, the fine collected as penalty for the violation goes straight to the general fund of the Philippine National Treasury.
The government, through DOST-PAGASA, has installed several huge time displays in key public places and in all DOST-PAGASA field stations and these time displays are periodically calibrated.
Here are the steps to synchronize your computer time to the PhST via PAGASA’s NTP server:
Step 1: Click or select “Date and Time” in your computer’s icon tray located at the lower right corner of the task bar.
Step 2: When “Date and Time” window pops up, click or select “change date and time settings.”
Step 3: “Date and Time” window appears.
Step 4: On the “Date and Time Setting” window, select the tab “Internet Time”.
Step 5: After selecting the “Internet Time”, click or select “Change Settings” button and “Internet Time Settings” window pops up.
Step 6: Check the box beside synchronize with an Internet time server. In the “Internet Time Settings”, type “ntp.pagasa.dost.gov.ph” in service textbox. Press “Update Now”.
Step 7: Wait for your computer to synch to the server. A message will inform you if update is successful.
If you notice, however, that after synchronizing and your computer clock did not match the PhST, just keep on refreshing until it finally synchs with PhST. It is normal at the start because it takes time to load a page.
For those who want to synchronize their time pieces with PhST, the quickest channels are the television and radio stations.
Part of the continuing effort by the government to instill the culture of punctuality among Filipinos and to give importance to the observance of PhST, RA 10535 set the National Time Consciousness Week every first week of the year.
RA 10535 started as a movement in the DOST through its information arm, the Science and Technology Information Institute (STII).
‘Juan Time” is a word-play on “one time” (single or unified time — and “Juan” being the common name for Filipinos).
As DOST Secretary Mario Montejo stressed during the launching of the ‘Juan Time: Pinoy Ako, On Time Ako,’ “Lateness often leads to missed opportunities. What we want is for Filipinos to arrive on time as the new norm.”
With PhST, we are on that road now!
The ‘Bee’ and the kids
By Alyssa C. Clenuar
WHENEVER we hear the name ‘Jollibee’ mentioned, we associate it immediately with kids — and chicken. At least that was the case for everyone who attended the Jollibee Kids Club (JKC) launching of Happy Plus Card last April 20 at the Atrium of Lim Ket Kai Center.
Hundreds of kids sat in their chairs with their parents, excited to see what was in store for them.
There were various kinds of kids — but they were all looking forward to see one important figure.
Some of them were too young to understand what the whole thing was about, some of them were a bit older, but all shared the same excitement — to see the mascots, especially Jollibee himself.
“There is the bee!” squealed one kid as he saw Jollibee walk down the aisle.
“He has a big, cute butt,” said another kid beside him.
Jimmy Salazar is six years old. At the venue he blurted out, “One of the things I really want to see is the bee.”
“I also love Jollibee’s chicken! My mom always buys us chicken before going home from mass on Sundays,” he added.
Like Jimmy, Nadine who was too shy to say her family name was in front participating in every game and in every dance craze Jollibee and his friends were doing.
She is a grade 3 student and has been a member of the JKC for two years now. She has been an active member of the Club which is evident in her interest in being part of the service crew at the Jollibee Vamenta branch.
Nadine said she has big crush on Popo because the mascot once helped her with customers. She even giggled when she said Popo’s name.
Unlike Jimmy and Nadine, Sweetsell, a four-year old participant, cannot dance and craned her neck to see the mascots like the other kids.
She has hydrocephalus, a condition where the brain swells because of the accumulation of excess cerebral fluid. She was with her mom, Rhea, who even enjoyed the event.
Although Sweetsell's situation was a struggle, it didn’t hinder her from enjoying too. Whenever the hosts asked kids to raise their colorful balloons, she too raised hers.
“This event is very helpful to her. Her social skills will be really developed because now, she talks to many kids and babies, unlike before. I don’t want to isolate her at home because she might become a loner when she grows up. Her condition is not a hindrance to me as I am a single parent and a full-time employee, and to herself also to do what other kids can do. I let her join JKC for her to see other kids aside from the kids in our neighborhood,” Rhea said.
The organizers had various games and activities which the kids apparently enjoyed throughout the event.
Some people from the Jollibee crew even conducted a dance lesson that afternoon, teaching the kids 32-count routines such as the ‘Jollytown Shake.’
In between games, there was a series of storytelling where kids at the back even gathered in front to listen and watch the visual presentation.
A raffle draw was included in the program where 200 lucky kids received gift prizes and one winner received P6,000 worth of Jollibee gift prizes.
At the end of the program were opportunities for kids to have a picture with Jollibee and his friends on stage.
Jimmy was jumping up and down for joy and ran towards the front to line up.
DJ Santos, Trade Marketing Officer of Jollibee Mindanao, said that this kind of event is beneficial for those kids who procrastinate their whole summer for nothing.
“At least, during this time, they would do something they could enjoy, away from computer games but with other kids too,” he said.
“When you say Jollibee kasi, it’s all about happiness talaga. And evidently, in this event, everyone really is happy, enjoying every activity the organizers prepared for them,” Santos said.
Jollibee Food Corporation has distributed 2,000 tickets for the event in the city. After the Cagayan de Oro leg, the show is to proceed to Cebu and Davao.
After the JKC event, Jollibee prepared for their Talent Camp where members could showcase their talents in painting, drawing, dancing, and singing, among others, during the period.
Of course, instead of going home, some other kids went to the nearest Jollibee food chain to eat.
Just like Jimmy, Nadine, and Sweetsell, other kids were looking happy throughout the program.
Truly, whenever we hear Jollibee, it is always associated with kids… and chicken.
‘Family Reunion’ in Isyu Mindanao
FAMILIES are bound to unite today, Saturday, May 17, as Isyu Mindanao tackles one tradition that has become a valuable thing in every Filipino household — family reunion.
A family reunion, most of the time, happens when a relative arrives from abroad, or when a loved one faces an unfortunate death.
And this, also, could be one of the very reasons why Filipinos are closely-knit and bond together.
In this week’s episode, award-winning host and filmmaker John Paul Seniel witnesses the get-together of the Camacho Clan in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) shortly after the passing of their grand matriarch Josie Molina.
In the event, the clan also get the chance to appoint their new president, Jose Camacho.
All these and more in Isyu Mindanao airing Saturdays at 7:00AM on GMA Channel 8 in GenSan, GMA Channels 12 and 35 in Cagayan de Oro, and GMA Channel 5 in Southern Mindanao.