Saturday, January 19, 2008


One of the good things that we Filipinos take pride in is that we are clean as a race. We are hopeless addicts when it comes to cleaning ourselves. As a people we can take on poverty, politicians, pollution, and a whole bunch of problems but we can not tolerate body odor.

Filipinos take a bath everyday, some twice and when the weather is humid we bath thrice a day. We take baths in the coldest of weathers, even if PAGASA declares storm signal number 3. Some even take a bath even when they have a fever. Absurd you think? Its true. I used to think one of the causes of fever is body odor. Nevermind if we're sick, the Filipino will take his bath.

After bathing we must have somekind of perfume or cologne applied on our skin. The rich, middle-class and poor, all must smell good. We spend money just to buy things that will make us fragrant and pleasing to the nose. Nevermind the urgent bills, we will buy that cologne. Our electricity might be cut off but at least we smell good.

We brush our teeth almost after every meal. Visit the restrooms on offices, malls and schools after lunch. You'll see people elbowing each other just to get space to brush their teeth. Breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner we brush our teeth after each of these meals. Never mind if our gums bleed of overbrushing, we will exhale fresh air.

I've been abroad as a tourist to some places in Asia and now I'm here in the middle east. I must say the races I've encountered all have that distinct odor. It is not a problem - it is culture. Now I could be biased but I think the Filipinos are the cleanest so far. You won't sniff a hint of unpleasant smell, not a bit. We must be the most obsessed race when it comes to physical hygiene. In fact one of the worst thing you can say to a Filipino is that he stinks. Ouch! That will hurt my pride real bad.

Now look at our streets. Our streets is a different story. Litter is all over the place, specally in Metro Manila. A candy wrapper here, a juice pack there, and a whole bunch of dirt everywhere. Mud, sewage, carbon monoxide, factory wastes, human wastes, you name it and we have it lying around on our streets, floating on our rivers and seas, circulating on the very air we breath . And most of the people who take their baths everyday don't even care. You see, as individuals we may be physically squeaky clean but as a nation we environmentally stink.

Note: I have been keeping this post in my draft for months now. As much as possible I try to promote positive values in Pinoy Pan de Sal so I keep on asking myself if I should post this. Now I decided to do it - forgive me if I sound harsh. I love my country and its culture and everything in it but I hate that we are allowing our environment to be like this - destroyed little by little, everyday.


Azl Alarcon said...

Nice post, Gigi! :-) Ganda ng contrast, and something to really think about. I can see here the value for caring and need for consistency between our lives and the environment.

shing said...

nice post ate gi. good beginning and middle...

nabitin lang ako, heeheehee. (editor's point of view)

But i like the way you think. you should develop this into a real article and send it somewhere! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Azl. I appreciate it coming from an environmentalist like you. Sorry for the late reply. Parang may bugs kasi ung blogger dito.

Shing, bitin ba? Hehehe! When writing negative things about Pinas, I find it hard to continue. Muntik ko na nga hindi i-post ito e.


Liza's Eyeview said...

I agree.. very much agree with what you posted.