A Laoag City executive was unabashed in smoking in full public view during grand parades in last month’s Pamulinawen Festival. While school boys and girls passed by to show respect for the VIPs, there he was at the middle of the stage, puffing no end, stick after stick. And he was even seated beside the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation chair, a minor.
Don’t get me wrong, I admire this public servant, as he has received prestigious awards, for him and for the city, for his outstanding leadership. His productivity even increased when, lately, he is said to have controlled his drinking problem, which is, or was, one of his very few waterloos. Given all his achievements, he has my respect.
However, I fervently hope our leaders really become more sensitive in this respect. Come on, smoking is not really something we could be proud of. I would not urge the city official to quit the vice as he has his own mind and we respect it. But, smoking in public is just so off, especially if you are a person looked up to by many. Presidents Aquino and Obama are known smokers, but they are never seen engaging in the vice. Indeed, gone are the days when senators were allowed to smoke during legislative sessions, and gone, too, are the advertisements that make us believe that cigarettes help one become better in sports or in hooking up with girls. Smoking, dear karikna, is just so out of fashion. Continue reading “Official Smoking”