Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I am no anthropologist and this is not an attempt at a social commentary. I will try to write this as an objective observation on this city's attempt at creating a society that has - above the passion for order and cleanliness - a soul and a heart as well.

One of the best ways to see this city's priorities can be gleaned from its public advertisements.

This is a poster from the National Volunteer and Philantrophy Centre. The Centre promotes volunteerism among citizens to give time to various causes that affect much of the country's life. I think much of it is community-based which is good because this is the way to go in order to make a huge difference. These services include caring for the elderly, teaching kids how to read or do storytelling sessions, etc.

This is an ad from Smart Taxis. It says that service is more than just a buzzword; it's a way of life. It promises to 1.) Greet passengers once they get on; 2.) Ask for their preferred route; 3.) provide a safe journey; 4.) Keep their taxis clean; and 5.) Ensure that their meters are switched on at the start of the journey and that the correct fare is charged. Non-compliance with their list of promises means you get your money back in form of taxi vouchers if you complain. In return, if the taxi drivers provide you excellent service, you can reward them with a tip. Not bad!
This is actually an empty ad space, but I want to look at it in a different light. The reason why it is so easy to go around the city is because of an organized system of public transport. Trains, buses and taxis - these are truly accessible to the people and saves much on effort and petrol. Aside from the care for the environment, Singapore has placed a premium on the welfare of its citizens and visitors in almost all aspects of their life and stay in the city state.
This is an ad by the SMRT for their Silver Tribute Fund in support of programs for the elderly. This is a way of saying thank you to the city's earlier citizens who have given much to the city's development.
We mind if you smoke. And finally, this. This is not new to us in the Philippines. Several years back, the City of Makati where the Central Business District is, has banned smoking in all amusement centers and bars. In fact, the Philippines was the 1st country in the world to ban smoking in all public spaces (the law was passed two years ago, methinks). Here in Singapore, smoking will now be banned in all entertainment venues. I hope the plastic bags will be the next to go just like what they are doing now in San Francisco.

So why am I making this entry? Because these are things that we sorely lack back home. We have the laws, we have the many innumerable attempts to apply them yet setbacks like budget and very little political wall continue to make our cities less desirable to live in. Singapore may be sterile - others call it boring - but coming from someone who has lived in chaos for years, being here is truly a welcome change.

1 comment:

Perps said...

OO nga...it breaks my heart to see other nationalities doing these good deeds, at which here we are in lack of.