Random Thoughts

DANGEROUS PUFFS CAN KILL — It is good to know that some 1.1 million Filipinos of the total 17 million smokers listed from 2009 to 2015, already quit the habit of smoking in recent years.

This means some 1.1 million men and women and even children are possibly no longer at risk, and no longer need medical interventions for throat and/or lung cancer caused by smoking.

We can presume that they have become more health conscious or heeded the graphic health warning in cigarette packs that they may end up as cancer patients  and eventually  six feet below soon if they can not conquer the habit of smoking.

The statistics were made public as President Rodrigo Duterte, a non-smoker, unlike his predecessor Benigno Aquino III, is about to sign an executive order imposing a nationwide smoking ban that we see is coming too soon because of the need to reduce the risk of lung cancer.

But there’s more to it than the smoking habit. I just attended the wake of a friend at Capilla San Juan de Evanghelista beside the Metropolitan Cathedral in Dagupan, who died of lung cancer not because of smoking but because of second-hand smoke, which he inhaled from habitual smokers around him.

His bereaved wife said her husband, a retired policeman, never smoked but when he joined a security agency after his retirement, many of his colleagues were smoking cigarettes and did not have the heart to tell them to puff their cigarettes elsewhere, like what our good friends Cesar and Willie–both smokers—do when they finish a meal.

Whenever Cesar and Willie are covering events at the Region 1 Medical Center, a no-smoking hospital, there, we see them head to the gate to indulge in their smoking habit.

Medical studies has shown that second-hand smoke is more lethal to a non-smoker than it is to the smoker, which is why one needs to  keep a distance from the smoker.

If the driver of a jeepney you are riding smokes, call his attention and tell him off, and if he ignores you, threaten to call the POSO who will book him for violation of Artikulo 21.

If a tri-bike driver is smoking and offers  you a ride, find another one who is not smoking.

To the smokers who can not kick the habit to smoke, don’t risk the heatlh of your colleagues, peers and relatives. Your second-hand smoke can kill them! – Leonardo Micua


STO. TOMAS TOWN AND THE GUINNESS —  Once again, the tried, tested and unparalleled unity of the leaders and townsfolk of Sto. Tomas town unfolds anew in another historic bid for two more Guinness World Records titles next month.

The big date is April 2. Some 20,000 people will troop in this small yet magnificent town when they make their attempts for the Longest Line of Tables and Longest Picnic Line (similar to Pinoy’s ‘boodle’ fight where people happily partake of food laid out on one long table).

Why April 2? Sure there is significance to that but sorry, I cannot share it as yet. Secret pa.

Sto. Tomas has been like my second home and its leaders and even ordinary folks have warmly welcomed me like their own kabaleyan.

I know how they work hard to accomplish a mission they need to do for the sake of their beloved town.

Bawal ang pasaway,” that’s the rule in that town, and it works well. No doubt while other towns or cities are having hard time clearing their areas of illegal drugs, Sto. Tomas enjoys its long-time status as the first and the real drug-free town in Pangasinan  – for the longest  time.

I have worked closely with the town’s leaders, the esteemed Villar family, for almost two decades.

This April 2, my hope will be again be at its peak, to see  Sto. Tomas clinch two more Guinness titles and by God’s grace, beat the 4.3 kilometers (or 4,303 meters) long record of Alexandria Egypt achieved in June 26, 2015.

Sto. Tomas will set up its version with its 2,470 interconnected tables that measure eight feet (2.43 meters) long each from the town’s welcome arc at the boundary of Rosales town, all the way to the boundary of nearby town of Alcala. In all, that spans about six kilometers!

Yes folks, that very long stretch, and they’re all out to do it.

For doing that, Sto. Tomas will also aim for the Longest Picnic Line title being held by the City of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada since July 15, 2012. Approximately 4,000 people participated in that picnic.

After watching the video of the City of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Mayor (Pare) Dick Villar and his constituents are confident they would wrest the Longest Picnic Line crown.

Sto. Tomas will gather 20,000 residents and visitors while a special committee has been formed to prepare 3,600 kilos of raw meat (pork) with corresponding 3,600 kilos of mixed vegetables for the adobong Sto. Tomas con maiz for the biggest picnic in the world.

Recall that in 2008, Sto. Tomas got Guinness’ Longest Barbecue title under the stewardship then of Mayor Vivien Villar.

Coupled with prayers, Sto. Tomas will perhaps be the only town in the whole wide world to have three Guinness titles for its record-breaking and amazing achievements.

Truly, this should make every Pangasinense, wherever they are in this planet, so proud for such feats. – Eva Visperas


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