Before the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) officially declares that the rainy season is over, I want to commend Robinsons Malls management for a unique service it offers clients who enter their establishments with wet umbrellas.
Security personnel, after checking bags and purses, offer plastic cases for the wet umbrellas. That saves clients the hassle of walking around with umbrellas dripping all over the place and getting the floors wet, which can result in serious injuries to themselves and other patrons.
Janitors do not have to mop up after everyone, which is difficult if not impossible to do in a big place, to make sure the floor stays dry, clean and safe.
Asking customers to leave their wet umbrellas outside the establishment would be too problematic. With thousands of people going to the malls, it will be a nightmare ensuring that everyone is “reunited” with his/her umbrella. Customers who may enter through one gate and decide to exit through another will also find it inconvenient to return to where they started just to collect their umbrellas.
I reused the plastic case I got a few times, finding it convenient even outside the mall. I could put the rain-soaked umbrella in my bag without worrying that the other stuff in it would get wet, too.
Robinsons Malls management must have picked up this very commendable practice from the Japanese. They have been doing this for years, over a decade at least, because the last time I was in Japan in the late 1990s, commercial establishments were already handing out umbrella cases.
With rains no longer confined to the “official” wet season in the country, other big establishments, particularly malls, could adopt the practice to protect their floors and make it convenient for customers to move around even with wet umbrellas.
Recycled hotel key card
Another welcome innovation of the Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC), specifically its Summit Ridge property in Tagaytay City, is turning used hotel key cards into baggage tags for guests.
There are guests who no longer return key cards when they check out of their rooms because of security concerns. There have been several reports about unscrupulous people, mainly hotel personnel, stealing valuable private information encoded in the key cards. The information includes credit card details, which a guest is usually required to provide even if he/she is paying in cash.
But the guest really does not have any use for the key card and, because it is made of plastic and is thus not biodegradable, he/she has to be careful about its disposal.
I do not know if the practice is true for other RLC hotels, but at Summit Ridge, the front desk staff quickly converted the key card I turned in into a baggage tag, punching a hole so one could insert the strap to hold it. The front carries the hotel’s logo, of course, but in an instant, space has been provided in the back for writing one’s name, address and contact number.
Incidentally, if you are among those people who consider Baguio’s public market as one of that city’s major attractions, you will likely find Tagaytay’s Mahogany Market just as interesting. With so many vegetable and fruit farms nearby, it is just a delight. Even the way the colorful produce is displayed is a visual treat.
Being familiar only with the market that is right on the highway, I had a pleasant surprise when I got introduced to Mahogany Market. I do not cook, but I enjoyed the hour or so I spent going around the market.
Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail email@example.com.