INTRIGUING title? Nope, actually and more correctly, night shifts and its effects on the person’s well-being particularly health issues. During the heyday of your columnist- called baby-boomers, proud to be one, not gadget-obsessed-we danced - whether in a swanky discotheque or in a barangay hall- to the groovy tune of ‘ I love the night life, I love to boogie” and it was fun, fun, fun; and we remained energetic and healthy the next day.
Reality says otherwise these days. A lot of people have been working on night shifts since the beginning of industrialization and this phenomenon was magnified by leaps and bounds during the globalization period. Whether it be for BPO ( business process outsourcing) like call centers or factory production companies, healthcare services, police force and security agencies, toiling and working at night and sleeping during the day is now commonplace experience for many employees. Admittedly, this employment boom and financial bonanza brought in more jobs, more money but they also came with risks, with obvious repercussions on health. Epidemiologists join the medical community in issuing a stern warning that there has been a significant rise in the incidence of cardiovascular disease, with statistics showing that heart attacks and strokes have become the leading causes of death and disability all over the world.
There has been many studies made already to address the issue, and fingers are pointed to a “malnutrition” as probable cause of illnesses of night shift workers. Many experts in food and nutrition say that it is easy for night owls to rely on easy food choices without giving much thought to the health benefits of what they are munching. Thus the person either gains excess pounds due to improper eating habits and food choices- mostly carbs and sugar-loaded stuff- or loses weight due to lack of sleep, stress or skipped meals. Other scenario would be night shift workers over-eating due to boredom or just to keep awake. And another sad reality is, food choices during the night are very few.
A dietitian friend has this advice. To gain the necessary energy to last a night shift, start with a breakfast of rice/cereals/toasted bread, fruit juice and for protein- egg, dried fish, and few slices of ham or bacon strips. Eat five small meals per day with an interval of three or four hours; snacks are allowed with fruits, vegetable sticks like celery or carrots, crackers and low-salt pretzels. While carbohydrates and sugars are energy-boosting foods, to help the person stay active and alert, the human metabolism may crash immediately after and fatigue sets in., thus minimize or avoid them before and during the night shift schedule.
Coffee, with its natural ingredient caffeine has been with humans since it was discovered by a shepherd that his goats were bubbly, active and happily dancing after munching on the leaves of an herb. Called by several names, depending on where it is grown and consumed, indeed, coffee gives every man and woman the necessary energy to kick off a day full of fruitful and meaningful activity. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant especially the brain, hence it helps the drinker ward off sleepiness. However, it may also race your heart to worrisome palpitations, a possible increase in blood pressure. Others even complain of a fine hand tremor especially intake of more than three cups per day. Endocrinologists have found out that too much coffee could lead to osteoporosis-like brittleness of the bones especially post-menopausal women. Your columnist would also like to add that coffee makes one urinate frequently, thus, the proverbial 8-10 glasses of water per day should be taken seriously by the night shift worker. Besides, the walk to the restroom is also beneficial to the muscles. tal mission or donation to the schools there. In fact rubber slippers is what they would want.
Just like in Sagada, doing business is strictly for locals. Purchase of property is exclusive for locals only. Very much the same there too. How I wish it was still the same with Baguio too. I will remember how the locals would know every Juan and do business with a local too. Purchase of property would have also been nice if priority was given to locals too. Show of proof a must. Well I can still dream.
Funny but I do not own any property in Baguio of my own. Believe it or not. I have a small home I call my own and it's in a compound and not a detached piece of real estate. That's it. I would recall how, when a demolition order was issued, I would always relate how I wished I could just claim my own land being the Mayor if I just wanted to. But I would never do that. Legally, I couldn't afford it also if ever. I tried to apply for a very small piece of public land for a right of way to my mom's property but it was never awarded to me. That would have been my first a long long time ago. Never happened after.
Anyway I will continue to learn a lot more from the people of Batanes. It seems every Juan including the Mayor or any other officer will be a farmer or a fisherman. Believe it or not, titles are nothing in the island. It seems if you wanted to eat, you farm or fish and that was what every Juan would do. They will work in an office but after work they will be back as who they are. Their title is just a second job.
Everything is simple in the island. Surely every Juan will live longer than us in the big city. A driver we had said that if we didn't book him he would be picking up cow manure for his vegetable plot. Everything there is organic.
Everything there is expensive, all because money is just an amount for measurement. I was told how they would trade with some foreign fishermen who love our coconut. Yes it seems they love it so much and that they would trade with a flashlight just for it. Cost is just cost. If you want you pay, if not they just don't care. I like it.
Every Juan will smile and greet you. Well because they don't know you that's why. In some restaurants you just pay for what you feel it's worth. Fruits and vegetables that are extra are left in an area for Juan to get, just pay what you want for it. In Baguio a long time ago sayote, tops and kangkong can be had by just picking it up or asking your neighbor. Same there. Now everything has a price.
While I know that it is not advisable, but in my own compound where I know every Juan, I don't lock my cars. Yes. Nothing has ever happened. I love where I live. Every Juan watches out for me and my property. Perfect. In the island all doors are left open, all motorcycles or scooters will have the keys in them. No Juan dares touch them even for any reason.
As tourists we are advised to just take pictures and leave memories. In fact taking away some stones or shells will be confiscated. And they will tell on you for this. We found a Pizza Hut there, yes pizza in a hut. They even deliver.
They are a very thankful bunch, so satisfied with what life brings. No complaints about the weather or anything. Food never a problem. The teacher who drove for us would after work or before it, go spear fishing. How I would love to be in their shoes. The waters to them are always calm.
The last night we were hosted in a Karaoke Bar. I know what you're thinking of, I thought the same. Apparently it's the only place open at night to have some fun. We were with principals and they knew every Juan there. Even the pretty ground staff of an airline was there in one table then later all tables were filled with their students from some time ago. Food in the table freshly caught by them too.
When ever I get to see my teachers or now my students I will always remember. I get nostalgic to the days when life was this simple. How I wish it still is. I walk to work or to my meetings. I meet people along the way, some chitchat and that's life. I wish I was a child again living in those times.