By Edward B. Antonio
Toilets are an important part of living, fellas.
A house without a toilet is considered to be a risk. If family members just scatter their dirt anywhere, the chances are the people get sick, especially of typhoid fever . Bacteria carriers such as flies usually contaminate food and water. This transmission from the dirt to human results in typhoid fever, an acute infectious disease caused by the typhoid bacillus Salmonella typhi.
Why do I focus on toilets this time?
Last time around, in a caucus with a government official, he mentioned about an approved provincial ordinance he coined making it mandatory for commercial establishments usually frequented by tourists to have clean and properly maintained toilets for local and foreign visitors alike.
He said that this is mandatory so as to give these visitors a good impression when they visit the province.
Which should be.
Toilets are a necessary need for all tourists and local customers alike.
But how about those commercial establishments without toilets, fellas?
There’s this business establishment in the heart of Vigan City that sells almost all kinds of stuff.
It sells mechanic tools, kitchen utensils, clothes, cellphone and cellphone accessories, carpentry tools, plumbing materials, toys, children’s bikes, school supplies, laundry needs, etc. The price is cheaper here than most commercial establishments that’s why it is frequented by budget-wise people like me.
But it has no toilet to cater to the need of its customers.
There’s this room there which looks like a comfort room, but it said for employees use only. Another door reads: “Authorized Personnel Only.”
How about a toilet for customers?
So, a customer has to hurry up buying his stuff and find a toilet outside where he could relieve himself. And to think that this commercial establishment is right in the heart of the city!
Then, there’s this commercial establishment right in the public market. It’s an annex of a big supermarket but it has no toilet inside. When I asked the guard where their toilet is, he directed me to get out, walk a little further south and there it is. I don’t know if that is a toilet as it doesn’t look like one.
Adjacent to it is another establishment without a toilet, too. I wonder where the employees go whenever they feel like moving. Or do they move at all?
Then there’s this big grocery store near the market where the toilet could be found at the far west end of the second floor. When I tried to use it, it was locked. So I asked one of the salesladies there in the second floor if I could use it. She accompanied me to the male toilet and unlocked the door with her key.
Then she said: “Please be careful with your steps, sir, because it’s dim.”
When I tried to switch on the light, it did not work. Obviously, the bulbs were defective, so I had to use my cellphone flashlight.
What an experience, fellas! How much more if this establishment is visited by foreign tourists?
That’s why I suggested to this government official that the ordinance must also include the mandatory construction of a toilet for all commercial establishments, especially the big ones frequented not only by foreign and local tourists alike but also by ordinary citizens who would shop there. After all, they are also human beings who need toilets!
Most in need of toilets in commercial establishments are the female customers, fellas. They must relieve themselves so as not to develop urinary tract infection (UTI) and kidney troubles. UTI is a common disease among females. Male customers can easily remedy the situation. They are “smarter” when it comes to relieving themselves.
“Adda la ketdi poste, mabalinen (As long as there is a post, I can relieve myself already), says Mang Maing.
When our discussion with the official went deeper, we also suggested that the ordinance must also include government agencies and establishments such as hospitals.
“Please pardon me for bringing out this matter and the term I’m going to use,”a colleague said. “But there’s this hospital whose toilet is so unsanitary that when you get in there, you’ll come out sick. In other words, I call it dugyot!”
“Dugyot” is the local term for extremely dirty, fellas. Its Tagalog version is “kadiri.”
“There was a time I visited a relative who was confined there,” he continued. “All’s well on that day until I visited the toilet. Oh, my goodness. What a mess!”
He said that this hospital has janitors, but he was sure they are not doing their job properly.
“These janitors are hired to maintain not only the cleanliness of the surroundings but also the cleanliness of the facilities, including the toilets,” he said. “If they cannot do their duties, they should resign and give the job to those who are willing to do it.”
“Or, their boss should kick them out,” I added.
Toilets are an important part of living, fellas. They are a symbol of health and relief. They cater to the natural needs of people. They make business establishments look “class.” Female customers and visitors love to shop in commercial buildings with good toilets. They smile from ear to ear whenever they occupy that “throne.”
It’s because the toilets are presentable and properly maintained.