Published March 25, 2019, 12:35 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat


By JOSE ABETO ZAIDE                 

Ambassador  José Abeto  Zaide
Ambassador José Abeto Zaide

For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. —  Mathew 13:12

You’d think that getting caught in the shower and banging the “tabo” pleading with the faucet for a trikle to wash off the soap and shampoo is a thing of the past.  But if you find yourself caught in this day and age in such vise, would you curse the darkness or light a match?

There are multiple reaons to blame our water providers; but in the run up to Holy Week, the Christian thing to do is to turn the other cheek.

Water problem is the greatest economic leveler, touching both rich and poor.  Even between the rich and rich, it can be a matter of geography.  Contrast living in Ayala Alabang (Maynilad is concessionaire for the west zone) and Corinthian Gardens, (serviced by Manila Water in the east zone).

A classmate and a man of consequence wants to resurrect the water pump gizmo of Corinthian Gardens because of irregular and erratic supply.  Groundwater mining may be allowed, provided the life of the ground water reservoir is maintained for at least 50 years!.  The Philippine Water Code spaces wells to extract groundwater.  (Heavy extraction of groundwater results in round subsidence  –  the sinking of land owing to over-pumping of groundwater.)

There are penalties in cases of violation of rules, including a schedule of fines for each day of violation and/or revocation of the water permit.  Mismanagement of ground water resource in Metro Manila may arise owing to poor implementation of the law or misunderstanding of the rules.  In the event, it is incumbent on the franchisee to respect the concession by observing prescribed rules.  Abuse of this privilege would deny our children and the next generation its benefits.

Headline stories abound of plans of Manila Water unrealized, and after-thoughts of post facto initiatives.  It doesn’t take rocket science to know the water requirements of our burgeoning metropolis.  If ours is a country which cannot supply water all-year round, what would others think of us?  How are we to attract investments, or encourage expats to be posted to (what would become) a hardship water-erratic post?

ADVISORY ON WATER SERVICE INTERRUPTION.  From March 29 to 31, 2019 (Holy Wednesday to Black Saturday), Maynilad will temporarily reduce water production at its treatment facility in Muntinlupa to do major cleaning of filters.  This is necessary to sustain the plant’s treatments parity despite increased turbidity of raw water form Laguna Lake.  This is small penitence for affected residents during Holy Week  –  except for those who had booked their holidays elsewhere).

BTW, we had a delectable Chinese lunch on the 75th birthday of a batchmate…only to be assailed at the end of lunch by lack of running water.  (Is it possible that the kitchen doesn’t have running water in preparing our victuals?)

As I write this tirade, I realize that we are all individually responsible for the use and sharing of water and cannot leave it to others.  Those with abundance should spare for the parched.  (See 20 useful tips under “Care2: 20 ways to conserve water.”  Nr. 15 recommends that we water outdoor plants in the morning.  (Cooler morning temperature means losing less water to evaporation.  Not good to water in the evenings, since this can promote mold growth.)


To end on a higher note, last Wednesday, 20 March, the Brand Manager Ms. May Yao introduced Dr. Raul Sunico as the latest Steinway artist.  The Steinway Spiro piano model, the world’s finest high-resolution player, played a recording of Eranani Cuenco’s “Bato sa Buhangin” arranged by Sunico.  To proke it was for real, Sunico played it again for us!  Followed with “Liebestod” (from “Tristan and Isolde” by Wagner/Liszt); and an encore (“Hanggang sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan” by George Canseco), which Sunico arranged for solo piano.

As Steinway artist, Sunico is committed to future engagements, and the immediate one is a Singapore concert on June 3.  Will wonders never cease?:  He has also committed to concert engagements in Oslo, Norway (May 29) with Erskine Basilio on classical guitar and kudyapi, with respective solos before a duet of piano and kudyapi.  He will be in Geneva June 13 (World Intellectual Property Organization HQ) and Berne June 10 (Yehudi Concert Hall) as our G=Ambassador of Goodwill.