The Pinoy’s Mess in a PAL Flight

I know, what a way to start this blog. Perhaps just like most Pinoys, I don’t feel comfortable about criticizing my own countrymen. It bothers me no end, however, whenever bad habits come out, “en masse”, for most of the world to see. In this case, for other plane passengers to see.

On our flight from Manila to Los Angeles, CA via Philippine Airlines (PAL), it shocked me and my husband to see used blankets and pillows on the floor as well as peanut wrappers and crumpled newspaper strewn all over the once clean seats and pristine carpets. We distinctly remember being asked to return the blankets, pillows and headsets lent to us and flight attendants going around to collect our trash before the plane landed. So what on earth were our fellow Filipinos doing all that time? Which part of those instructions did they not understand? Or did they simply not care?

We witnessed the same shameful mess on our way back to the Philippines. Just like the previous flight, this one had perhaps 99% Filipino passengers as well. I don’t know why I still hoped to see something different, only to be sorely disappointed and ashamed once again. Why can’t we keep our spaces clean? Is this a reflection, perhaps, of the state of uncleanliness in one’s personal abode?

We did not see this mess in six of the US interstate flights we took. I guess, I had hoped to see the same mess from the American passengers  just so our fellow Pinoys won’t look too bad. I peeked under seats to find any sign of glittering peanut foil or candy wrapper but didn’t find any. I had to swallow hard and admit that the Pinoy passengers are a messy lot!

It would be good for us to learn some simple lessons from the Americans. This is not an article to glorify them in any way, but to learn some better habits from them.

Have you ever noticed how we leave our food wrapper, plates, utensils and trays on our tables after eating in a fastfood joint like McDonalds. or Jollibee? Well, in America, they clear up their tables and throw their mess in the trash bin. It’s really quite simple and requires very little effort. That’s why it astounds me that even our security guards go and clear tables when their job is to guard the establishment! Are we so insensitive already?

If we just magnify this trash situation one hundred times, we’ll easily see the reason for all the soaked and muddy rubbish all over our streets after the terrible floods in our country recently. One piece of candy wrapper thrown on the pavement is one million pieces of candy wrappers from one million irresponsible people, and eighty million pieces from eighty million people who don’t give a damn about our country and the environment.

Just like corruption, bad habits do start in the family. Lets nip this nasty habit of carelessly throwing trash in the bud. It is not only a crying shame but our impending downfall as a people. And please, lets keep our airplanes clean people!

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