Sunday, July 11, 2004

Dante Ang dares BF to piss in public
Dante Ang, in today's Manila Times, bemoans MMDA's pink urinals. He writes:

I can’t imagine Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, New York or any city—modern or otherwise—in the world putting up pink urinals in their streets. MMDA officials may not realize it, but those “pinkies” are sources of embarrassment. They denigrate the Filipinos. At the very least, the pink urinals exhibit our damaged culture as a people.

Ang goes on to dare BF:

Now, if Fernando and the other MMDA officials disagree with me, they should demonstrate their belief in their projects by peeing in their pink urinals in full view of the public once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

And while they are doing that, I wonder how they will feel peeing in full view of the public. True, they will be relieved, but will peeing in public give them self-respect or pride? Watching them peeing in the pink urinals, how do you think the people will look at them? With respect? Or with contempt?

I understand many people hate those unsightly urinals. Rather than training the men to properly relieve themselves in appropriate places, the MMDA's pink urinals seem to encourage pissing in public. One friend testily declared: If women can get by without urinals why can men not?

All true, but I have alwasy believed that the pink urinals are a compromise and pragmatic solution, a case of a Third World solution to a Third World problem. Directives like Bawal ang umihe (sic) dito multa 5000 plastered on walls are, I think, more embarrassing and degrading than the pink urinals, especially because no one seems to heed the prohibition. Anybody who drinks the minimum number of 8 glasses of water a day are bound to experience a disturbance in the loins. Male pedestrians find the urinals useful, becuase, let's face it, there is no public restroom system in Metro Manila. If you want to pee, you have to pay (and that's if you're lucky enough to find a pay CR), or march to a Jollibee nearby, use the restroom, discreetly leave the fast food without ordering a value meal and risk the inquisitorial gaze of the security guard.

Without the pink urinals, people would be peeing on walls, lampposts, tree trunks.... And come the rainy season, the urea from the urine and God knows what else will get washed out by the floods. The urinals may be unsightly, but they serve a hygienic purpose. They are an unideal solution to the problem, but they are effective. The pink urinals should stay until we as a people become properly toilet trained, which is the responsibilty of our parents, not of BF.

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