Whenever I visit my subordinate units/commands while I was a Division Commander of the Philippine Army, the first thing that I need to see as I enter their Headquarters or camp was their Toilet! Why? It is because the toilet serves as the reflection on the efficiency of the unit and its commander and my measurement on the administrative condition of the unit. Whether the camp is located in the forest or in the mountains or in the periphery of a city or a municipality or a barangay, the toilet should be clean, it has an available water (in pail or water containers), a dipper, a soap, and a small towel (if there is no toilet paper/tissue). If I can see that the toilet of the camp is clean and have those basic necessities, I just listen to the Commander’s Briefing without any questions/comments and rather spend more time talking to the Officers and Men and try to know their concerns and be able to interact with them.
Fast forward! Now that I am a retiree and have a chance to visit other countries, the “toilet factor” is still alive and relevant in my observations about the place or country I am visiting. As soon I get out of the plane in a country that I am visiting, the first thing that I do is to run/brisk walk and look for the toilet!
In all the countries that I visited, US and almost all the ASEAN countries, their toilets are clean, well-maintained, with “automatic flush” systems in their urinals, toilet bowls, and washing areas. There is an abundance of liquid soap, toilet paper, hand dryer, and sometimes hand lotion/perfume and sanitizer gels! You could not see any attendant or maintenance personnel standing inside the toilet to assist you with your needs! (This is what I normally observe in our airports!)
Once I see the toilet in the airport as I get out of the plane, I can already conclude the efficiency and the overall condition of the country I am visiting.
Do I need to mention here my observations in our “international” airports’ toilets? I don’t think so. You could be a well-travelled person than I am and you would know what I mean and feel the frustration as you compare the last toilet you have visited before boarding the plane to the Philippines.
And one thing more, do we have to spend millions of pesos to come up with campaign ads for tourists to visit the country instead of spending thousands of pesos for liquid soap and toilet papers in our international airports?
I rest my case.
8 thoughts on “Toilets”
In some malls, if u want clean toilets we need to pay 10. They call it lounges just because they put a small sofa.
Gateway mall in cubao has only one toilet that is free and all thier toilets are pay lounges.
it is sad to know that public service facilities like toilets in malls are no longer free in the country! this could be an opportunity for business where portalets that could only open when you place some coins would be placed along the streets in the metro instead of those stingky and exposed MMDA urinals. thanks for the comment! however, SOGO Malls and other “high-end” malls in Taipei have free toilets though!
Just want to make a comment about the layout of the men’s toilet at our airport when I went to Laoag from Manila. The left side of the lone urinal do not have a screen. Instead you’ll see a lavatory sink counter with mirror and an attendant. If there’s a long line, there’s nothing to hide. Laoag has no attendant, clean and with sufficient toilet supplies.
the laoag airport’s arrival area is new and it is really clean and have the basic amenities of a nice toilet for visitors.
Have you guys been to the airports in Japan with the high-tech, high-performance toilets? (Nagoya & Narita for me).
Heated seats, bidet with controllable stream (pulse, continuous flow), ass-massaging vibrating seats. Amazing.
amazing, indeed! the last time i was “in-transit” in Japan was in the late 90s and i guess that they have those already. i only used their urinals though! thanks for the comment.
once upon a time we had a million dollar toilet, public toilet, here in Seattle. It was dismantled/removed because it was used by drug dealers and prostitutes.
hahaha! a nice place to do some trading, ha!