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Tuesday, June 18, 2024


I remember the time, when one of my first Japanese friends kept on complaining, why I didn’t operate a cellphone. Believe me, during that time, sometime in 2000 or 2001, I was even typing my articles on an old typewriter from Germany.

My Japanese friend then bought me a computer – and a cellphone! Some other friends congratulated me: “Welcome back to the world!”

Now we are living in May 2024.  

Last Sunday, I really got mad. Attending mass, I observed a family (father, mother, boy and girl) keeping on using their cellphones during almost the whole ongoing mass. Heaven forbid! Even while falling in line receiving the holy communion, the father kept on texting and browsing Facebook. Step by step. Just in front of me! Heaven forbid! Guys, why are you still attending mass? Later on, the children kept on playing video games… .

Sometimes, I observed (business-)people operating with two or even more cellphones at the same time. Even while taking lunch in a restaurant. I asked them: “How did you survive doing business before without these units?” Believe me or not. The answers have been mostly: I really don’t know!

Doing business nowadays without a cellphone? Even in a very private life? Many people can’t imagine it anymore. I can! Though Philippines’ cellphone companies really provide us with the widest distribution and the broadest coverage to very affordable charges. I really enjoy, for example, the unlimited call experience – just to mention one. But, not at any time!

But then it happened! I thought I had lost my cellphone. I panic, losing all my important connections. This “thing” really has a special meaning for me. And here we are: not only for business. Just even for a short “Hi – kumusta ka?” I really felt lonely!


A couple of hours later, I found IT. Misplaced somewhere in the bathroom under a towel in a silent mood. Four miscalls (yipee!), several text messages. Not only “Hi – kumusta ka?” A special evening meeting had to be confirmed… .

Allow me to quote Philippine Star columnist Igan D’Bayan, who wrote a couple of years ago: “We don’t speak like Hamlet any more. Most of us speak Taglish and write in Filipinized English. And while holding a mobile phone, we type ‘2b or not 2b’. And that’s supposition!”

Btw (‘by the way’), during night time, I turn off my cell phone. How about you? And, I really get mad if my students keep on using their “machine” during class…. .

Alert your family, friends and sports club/society members when you can, and tell them how to reach you in emergencies. Make plans with friends and family in detail ahead of time. Do something different with the time you’d usually spend on your phone – read, go for a walk, go to the gym, study, cook. So do I. 


Email: [email protected] or follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn or X (Twitter) or visit www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .


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