By February 25, 2024Andromeda's Vortex

By Farah G. Decano


ALLEGEDLY, some citizens are directly entreating foremen of the ongoing infrastructure undertakings in Dagupan City to lower the elevation of the roads and drainages contrary to the approved program of works.  Some of these “influencers” even flaunt their alleged closeness to the powers that be.

The Department of Public Works and Highways and the Dagupan City Government should not allow this kind of undue interference by the “mamaru.”  For those who are not familiar with this term, it is urban language for “nagmamarunong.”

According to the grapevine, these “mamarus” possess no technical expertise. They are not civil engineers, architects, and neither do they have experience in any type of road design. Their main motivation for meddling with the construction is for very personal purposes – minimize the impact of the intended road elevation to their private properties. They do not care whether their unwarranted requests will have any detrimental consequences to a section of or the entire city.

The DPWH and the City engineer are urged to closely monitor the foremen. They have to make it clear to these supervisors that they have to stick to the approved plan. And should there be any amendments, no matter how minor, approval of the DPWH or the city is required.  The latter should know the over-all effect of any change albeit limited to one section only.  This, of course, presupposes that our government planners are technical experts themselves. We do not wish to have a few thick-faced individuals benefit from their own shenanigans and then prejudice the rest of the community.

If there is any problem with the road or drainage designs, the citizens should raise the matter to the planners and not to the private contractors who are obliged to implement the sanctioned infrastructure plan. The latter must be reminded that deviation from the design may merit non-payment.

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     On Facebook, there are those who keep posting about their sorrows, their health conditions, their dismal relationships, or how their life sucks.  They even go to the point of begging for virtual hugs.

I would understand occasional public manifestations of miseries but to do so almost regularly is concerning.    Common among those who suffer mental or psychological issues is the fact that they are too focused on themselves as if they are waiting for some mishap to befall upon them. They also show less empathy with the people around them and are incognizant of their external situation.  They tend to look inward, observe their inner world like a movie, and then experience a downward spiral from there.

            For those who have a predilection to frequent conscious attention to oneself, they must take heed from world renowned social scientist and Harvard professor, Arthur Brooks. He claims that focusing less on oneself leads to happiness.

 Mr. Brooks cited a study of Adam Waite, a social psychologist who conducted an experiment on his undergraduate students by grouping them into three:  the first group was told to perform moral deeds such as random acts of kindness; the second was directed to just stick to moral thoughts such as thinking of the goodness of humanity; and the third was instructed to immerse in self-care ideas such as peace, tranquility, and purity. After several weeks, the happiness of the three groups of students were measured. Those who performed kindness were the happiest while those who enveloped themselves in moral thoughts outranked those who administered self-care.

If you have this friend or relative who seem to be stuck in thoughts about themselves, please do not share their miserable state.  Instead, divert their attention to practicing kindness instead of just indulging in self-care activities.

            By the way, Mr. Brooks also said that happiness, just like despair, is contagious. Let us choose wisely what to spread and what to be protected from.

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