It’s Father’s Day. Here’s a salute and a round of applause for all the dads out there who hardly ever get credit for what they do. Take a bow! We honor them today. Indulge me please while I remember mine.
Papa had a great sense of humor. He was our in-house weather forecaster long before Kuya Kim was even born, and was more reliable than Pagasa.
He was frugal but generous. Papa spent many years in an orphanage, and for the rest of his life marveled at how blessed he was. He was happiest having just enough, needing nothing more.
Papa became a man of the sea like three of his brothers, and like them he rose from sweeping decks to standing at the helm as ship captain.
He was a gentleman, a man of his word, a kind disciplinarian, our steady anchor and unerring compass. How we miss him!
It is amazing, the number of shopping malls that have sprung up in the last 10 years. Whether the stores are all under one roof or side by side like in strip malls, it must be tough for planners to make sure that all elements for success have been considered. Is it accessible? Are the amenities attractive and affordable, and will it offer everything you need without you having to go elsewhere?
For a shopping mall to stay in tune with the times, it must provide goods for people of all ages and walks of life and for budgets of all sizes.
All these help make a trip to the mall the highlight of the life of a great number of people. I frankly find them too crowded and noisy.
I love it that I can shop, eat, exercise (slow walking) and be entertained all in one go. But I try to skip weekends because there’s a maddening cacophony of blaring music, beeping and blipping of video games, children running and crying, and the insistent voices of people inviting you to sit in their massage chairs for free.
The shopping mall is planned in such a way as to become the go-to place for whatever tickles your fancy. Food courts and restaurants are an important part of the grand design. You can feast or snack, go the fastfood route or become a connoisseur of fine cuisine, all under one roof. The concept is to entice every appetite known to man, woman or child. You name it! They’ve got it.
It is also a place for promenading, for just cooling off and staying out of the heat without paying for electricity. I have seen people carrying snacks from home, just like they would in a park.
They tell me that a huge percentage of the people who enter malls come out without having bought anything at all. I guess that’s what they call “malling.”
Sudden thought. Are there any decent public parks in Parañaque or Muntinlupa? Are they safe?
My niece works for a huge developer of residential and commercial properties, and she screens potential tenants for their shopping malls. She has the figures at her fingertips, and tells you up front if she thinks your venture has a chance to make it at their available sites.
“I would rather tell them the truth, even if it means losing a client,” she says. I am impressed. This is seldom seen in today’s hard sell cutthroat business climate.
And while we are on the subject of malls, I think some mall owners could improve on their people skills. Most are effusive in their welcome. The guards are trained to be courteous and make you feel special.
We once balked at parking fees but have learned to live with them. My favorite mall in Alabang gives you a 15-minute free stay. They even have senior rates. It’s a small discount, true, but it’s a perk.
Across the street they are not half as friendly. My bank is there. Our favorite Korean restaurant is there, and so is a bigger and better Santi’s.
But you must pay the full P20 if you as much as set one wheel on their driveway. Taped on the collection booth at each entrance are signs that leave no doubt that they mean business. “No passing through. No grace period.”
No please? No thank you? Not even sorry? How rude!
Not just about milk
I don’t mind TV commercials, except when they play them too often, and that can be annoying. But there is one I don’t mind seeing over and over.
It is a pitch for Bear Brand. The storyline is true and the images are real, not the usual froth and frippery. Every time I watch it my heart cries a little.
The day begins. A father gets his children out of bed. Breakfast is a glass of milk. They walk together until they reach a river. Father throws a rope into the water, swims across and ties it around a tree. Stretched above the water, it becomes a bridge. The father walks on it, slowly reaching out to his children. Confidently he leads and fearlessly they follow. He takes them to school.
I read somewhere that “the campaign celebrates the strength and unbreakable spirit of the Filipino.” Perhaps.
The little schoolboy proudly tells his dad: “Itay, ikaw ang tibay namin.” Then he asks the viewer: “Ikaw, saan galing ang tibay mo?”
“Where does your strength come from?” That’s the message.