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February 1, 2013

Vent It Out Friday: Ten New Year's Resolutions

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our newest section, “Vent It Out Friday” where we just have a commentary on just about everything. This highly opinionated, highly emotional section will appear (as much as possible) every Friday. Soon, we’ll also be opening “Vent It Out Friday” to our readers, but for now, you can respond to the topic at hand via the comments section below.

They say: a new year equates to a fresh start. With over 300 days to go before we gorge to our heart’s content and light up the skies anew with fireworks (and a stray bullet or two) yet again, here we are with the subject of New Year’s Resolutions. I’d wager that for the 99.9 percent of us out there, this year’s resolution is no different from last year’s or the year before that: it’s got to do with losing 10 pounds and five inches off the beer keg we call the waist.

For crying out loud, let’s get some originality in here. Before we all succumb to what everyone else is doing, let me suggest ten interesting New Year’s Resolutions that you may want to take up. I guarantee, it’s going to easier than suffering on the treadmill (or stair master) and starving yourself for the rest of the year.

For the DPWH: I promise to fix up the giant craters on EDSA and the “ninja potholes” that appear after every rainstorm. “Ninja potholes” are potholes are come out of nowhere after every rain day; a sure sign that our roads are substandard. I think the DPWH should really improve their road standards and prevent these from ever happening again. And while they’re at it, perhaps they can “Belo-fy” EDSA to make it as smooth as Alodia Gosengfiao’s skin?

For the LTO: I promise to release plate numbers a week after a vehicle, two or four-wheeled, is purchased/released.  The new problem of vehicle owners (especially motorcycles) is the unavailability of plate numbers. It’s now common practice for car dealerships to issue up to three months’ worth of Delivery Receipts (DR) just because plate numbers aren’t available. I understand the LTO is shifting to a new plate number format and is considering a new supplier, but that doesn’t change the primary role of the LTO which is to oversee the registration of vehicles and license motorists. It’s a simple enough job, if only the red tape were cut out.

For the Local Government: I promise to keep our roads clear from obstacles and our sidewalks and alleyways reserved solely for pedestrians. Yes, Marikina City, I’m still talking about you. When are you going to clear up that beer house/karaoke establishment that’s taking up half our village pedestrian alley? Now would be a great time since they’re using the other half as makeshift parking. If you clean it up, you’ve got my vote this year.

For Motorcycle Riders: I promise to use my side mirrors whenever I switch lanes. The reason why motorcycle riders get into accidents is that they don’t know what those mirrors sticking out of their handle bars are for. Clue: it’s not for combing your hair. The first thing a student driver learns is how to properly adjust the side mirrors; it shouldn’t be any different for a rider. And please, don’t offer the excuse of “it might get stolen”. Car owners experience that all the time and that doesn’t prevent us from still using our side mirrors.

For Mall Rats: I promise to park between the lines and not on the lines. It’s common courtesy and common sense to park properly in a mall or office building to free up as many parking slots for people as possible even if you’re driving an extra-wide, exotic super car (or gargantuan SUV for that matter). If your car or SUV can’t fit in the space, congratulate yourself: you’ve gotten the most useless ever made After all, you’re not the only one going to the mall to enjoy a movie or do some errands. The lines are there for a reason, so please park properly. If you don’t, we can always use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to shame you with the hashtag: #ParkLikeAnAss.

For Security Guards: I promise to guard your car better and to the best of my ability. This one’s a bit personal and it’s still very fresh. When was the last time your security guard was too relaxed and you found your car missing a couple of parts after you left it supposedly in the security of your condo’s parking? In my case, I found that out just a week ago and it might have just been four tire valve caps, but they’re nice and expensive ones. Furthermore, if they went missing unnoticed, it could further escalate to the theft of antennas and side mirrors. Too bad for the guards, I’m so anal about my car, I know exactly where each accessory, each scratch, each dirt mark is. It’s sad but there’s no place safe enough to park our cars, even in the security of our so-called garages.

For Those Puttering in the City: I promise to use my signal lights when changing lanes. Don’t believe what Manang Bola is telling you: no one’s telepathic, no one could read your thoughts, and in the case of driving, no one can read your sudden swerve to the left or right just to grab a coffee at Starbucks. When you’re switching lanes and most especially when you’re turning, for the safety of everyone, please use your signal lights. Again, don’t give the excuse that your signal light will conk out. Whether you use them or not, they’ll eventually give way. A P 100 replacement bulb is way worth the money rather than a possible fender bender. And besides, what’s your excuse for using your hazard during the rain if you’re afraid that your bulbs will burn out?

For Highway Warriors: I promise to use the left lane for overtaking and overtaking alone. Driving at a steady 100 km/h doesn’t give you the excuse to hog the left lane on the NLEX, SLEX or whatever ‘LEX’ it is you’re driving in. Driving at the maximum speed limit doesn’t give you the reason to stay on the left for the entire stretch of road. The proper way to do it would be to keep on the right and stay on the right unless you’re overtaking. Thankfully the toll operators have stringently implemented that rule with trucks and buses. Now, if only they can do the same thing the jalopies.

For Mamang Tsuper: I promise to only load and unload in designated areas. Jeepneys, taxis, tricycles, and sometimes buses are worse than a dog trying to mark his territory: they stop at what seems like every meter just to load and unload passengers. This causes jams on major thoroughfares and sometimes put the passenger inadvertently in harm’s way by making them jaywalk or cross in areas they’re not supposed to. For the safety of everyone concerned, please demand to your passengers that you’re only loading and unloading at designated points. After all, you’re the captain of your stainless ship, so in the end, you have the command responsibility.

For the Car Companies: I promise to release new and exciting cars that will blow your mind. Enough said. I think 2013 will be yet another banner year for the Philippine automotive industry and we’re actually expecting no less than 40, yes 40 new cars to come out this year. Happy New Year, indeed.

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