Going Is Half The Battle

If you want a metric to show that we are on our way to civilization, try the proliferation of pay toilets in our public spaces.

Soon, the days of dreading to walk into a restroom for fear of a mildew-mold-bacteria hybrid monster devouring you from the shoes up will be nothing but a nightmare to scare kids into behaving. No more urine puddles, no stray drops on the toilet seat. No more bits of dinners past floating in the bowl.

In a public restroom outside Vinzons Hall in the University of the Philippines, a toilet bowl has become filled to the brim that it looks like a ceramic flower pot without the flowers or any aesthetic value whatsoever. In an office restroom on Katipunan, someone once left soiled panties and a napkin in a puddle on the floor. It was like a serial killer leaving a calling card, but not as precise or thought out. There is no upper limit, it seems, to the depravity that men can aspire to, and, as is the case with many things, there is a need for someone to keep things in check. Or, at least, clean up afterwards. If you are lucky, someone to dispense lotion and cheap cologne, too.

Of course, for the Filipino with no pocket change and a bladder threatening to fail, pay toilets are the greatest form of capitalist oppression. Just another way for The Man to tell us where, when, and how to do our business. And this is valid, too. Two sides of the same 5-Peso coin, one might say.

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