Campaign Jingle

Feb 01, 2010
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The number one preoccupation for 2010 politics can take over Number 1, in the politicization of urination in the Philippines (if you know what I mean).


The Palace, for example, issued a statement that painting MMDA1 urinals green may help the political campaign of Gibo Teodoro2. (On a side note, that’s a very odd statement to make.) Speaking of the MMDA , the government agency is planning to build female urinals along EDSA and major thoroughfares, much to the dismay, disgust, and WTF reactions of women. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, 2010 can – at least in Metro Manila – turn into a piss contest, in the strictest sense of the term. If there’s anything particularly wrong with the Filipino, it’s his propensity to take a leak anywhere.

If there’s anything that makes the Philippines a literal cesspool, it’s the man who pisses on every fence, tree, wall, and bush that he sees, just because he lacks bladder control. The world, to a friend, is his ashtray. To the irresponsible territorial pissant, the world is a toilet. N

o matter how many “Bawal Umihi Dito” (No peeing here.) signs you put up in whatever dialect, there’s always that one incontinent guy who will unzip his fly, shoot from the bladder, play his game, and give this country a bad name.


MMDA urinal penholders were given away by the office in an online contest.

MMDA urinal penholders were given away by the government office in an online contest conducted in 2009.

Photo credit:


I don’t know where I read it (I think it was “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt), but there’s an anecdote about how Ireland got its name from the winner of a piss contest, Erin. Apparently, a man chose his wife depending on who takes a leak the longest. I guess that metaphorical piss – from campaign jingles to press releases to long-winded answers on debates by whomever – is the core of political discussion here. Whether we admit it or not, we get easily swayed by the articulate, the ma-garbo (excessive), the meek, the confrontational, and just about everyone else in between.

Anyway, let’s go back to urinals. In Baguio, a city in Northern Luzon, for example, pay toilets became a serious campaign issue some years back. One candidate’s platform revolved around making public toilets free for use again. The candidate didn’t win, so the privatized for-profit public toilet business continued to charge PhP 5.00 for the use of a urinal trough or a clean toilet, and a thick handful of toilet paper. It worked to relieve the public of the stench of urine, but the moma (betel nut residue spat out on the street) is probably still a problem. Who takes a leak, so to speak, the longest. The highest. The furthest.

Here in the Metropolis, though, the repainting of urinals becomes an issue. While I rarely ever do unbutton my fly for a leak on the roadside I did sneak a peek inside an MMDA urinal and was repulsed by the sight of urine solids caking on the funnel. It reeked of Hell’s bowels itself, hosed down for a regular cleaning every now and then. I suppose that corrosion from urine would do a number (1) on the metal, but I don’t see why painting it green should be an issue. Or why it should even help Gibo. Over time, human urine would act like paint stripper, and no matter how many times you paint it or whatever colour you use, guys who tinkle while they jingle will eventually corrode an edifice to one’s ego.

In a word, vindication. The female urinal is apparently a place where women can make water standing up, but not everyone’s Janet Jackson in the “Scream” music video, and there’s something about sanitation and all-around squeamishness. Portalets – Dante’s other circle of Hell – won’t work either. Unless the MMDA comes up with a good public information campaign for the women’s urinals, it wouldn’t work. Or we need another jingle, so to speak, by the Sexbomb Dancers. At least it’s free. Will the green-painted urinals help Gibo’s campaign? Maybe.

Will Chairman Inocentes’ campaign of “re-greening Metro Manila” lead to urea being converted to fertilizer? Maybe. What green: mucus, puke, or weed green? We don’t know yet. All I know is that my stream of thought led to a stream of piss, and maybe convinced one dude out there that politics and piss is serious business. Or probably the same thing.



(1) The Metro Manila Development Authority is the government office on urban development. Its previous chairman (and candidate for vice presidency for 2010 national elections), Bayani Fernando, is well known for his pink urinals all over the country’s capital.

(2) Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro is the former Secretary of National Defense of the Philippines. He is running for presidency in the May 2010 elections under the administration party, Lakas-Kampi CMD. Teodoro’s signature colour is green..


Marck Rimorin also blogs at The Marocharim Experiment