Bunye: Why do Pinoys litter?

LAST week, I identified unauthorized campaign materials as another major contributor to our worsening garbage problem. During this political season, tons and tons of unauthorized “epal-itic” materials are expected to be taken down by the MMDA and Comelec-deputized agencies.

The tragedy is that the public seems to have been desensitized to this problem. Nobody cleans up afterwards. Nobody seems to really care. Least of all the “epal-iticos” who are either directly or ultimately responsible for such trash.

Thus, it is so refreshing to come across somebody who still cares and takes action. My daughter Frannie narrates her unforgettable encounter with one such unlikely character.

“Running has its many perks. You get to witness so much around you. Everyday things that you take for granted, you have more time to observe as you catch your breath and wonder when your next water break is.

“One fine morning, I noticed a familiar sight in my route: an elderly, Caucasian male, in his gray “US Department of Homeland Security” shirt stopping to pick up other people’s trash and disposing of them in the trash bin.

“I’ve been seeing this for several days now. He does that on his regular walking route, which is along my run route. I’m pretty sure he is as exasperated as others who see that the trash is just inches away from the bin. But unlike my usually self-righteous heart, which rants about it or sometimes even has the audacity to call the litterers on it, he just takes it upon himself to set things right. No fanfare, no confrontations. Just humility.

“For a nation obsessed with basketball, you’d think we as a people would like to “shoot” our garbage in its proper place. But this is so not the case. Why do Pinoys litter anyway in the country when they habitually keep their own bodies (twice a day showers!) and homes/cars clean? (I say they litter in the country because they don't do it when they're outside of it.)

“I discussed this with my cousin Simon Pavel Miranda (a seasoned ultra-marathoner). We've come to the following hypotheses:

“1). Pinoys do it because they assume someone would clean up after them (like in the movie theaters when the credits start rolling and the uniformed dudes start picking up popcorn and paper cups)

“2). This is learned behavior since you were a child when your yaya would clean up after you (as opposed to living abroad where something stays where it is unless you dispose of it)

“3). There are no consequences for littering (unless you live in Davao or Palawan or Olongapo). When one goes to the US, or any other foreign country, one doesn't want to run the risk of being deported or at the very least, ostracized, so s/he follows all the rules and tries to fit in as much as possible.

“It’s a little out of my comfort zone but I think I’ll thank Mr. Department of Homeland Security the next time I see him, not just for picking up the trash, but for being a breath of fresh air and a picker upper of other people's days!”

(Lifted from my daughter Frannie’s blog. Frannie had some serious health issues as a young girl. The other week, she completed her first marathon!)

Be careful what you post in social media

Without any doubt, the social media has opened up opportunities in countless ways for tens of millions. Interaction between families and friends oceans apart can be done at the speed of light. Product advertising and commercial transactions are very much facilitated. Individuals can even earn without leaving the comforts of their homes.

But just as there are opportunities, social media has also opened up a lot of cyber threats - cyber attack, cyber bullying, cyber sex, cyber theft and what have you.

A newly-licensed professional recently found this out the hard way.

After passing the PRC examination, Young Professional proudly posted his PRC identification card. Within minutes, Cyber Thief downloaded the professional’s ID and used the data therein to generate another ID. The doctored ID was then used by Cyber Thief as supporting document for a bank loan.

Before long, Young Professional received the shock of his life when found out that he allegedly owed a certain bank P800 thousand.

Cyber Thief was eventually caught. But one can imagine the inconvenience, not to mention the anxiety, caused to Young Professional by one careless act.

Note: You may email us at totingbunye2000@gmail.com.
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