Taking one’s life PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 11 June 2018 13:47

LOOKING IN

BY ROD BALBON

This is more commonly known as suicide. When someone commits this, the usual question asked is: Why?

Man very well-known actors, actresses, celebrities and artists committed suicides for various unknown reasons. Others take their lives due to mounting problems like sickness, drug addiction, and emotional stress.

Very recently, my favorite food guru, critic, traveler, and cook, Anthony Bourdain, was found dead, hanging and hogtied inside a hotel room in France—a swift ending for a very popular and promising TV host of CNN Unknown Destination. His TV program was unique and totally different from the common food shows and presentations. His medium to communicate was food but he interposes it with the history of a place, their culture and character of the people, and gives a piece of his mind—a critical observation on how to introduce and elevate a particular place’s food and menu. Many grieved why he ended his life while he is still in the pinnacle of a very successful TV career.

We may never know the exact reason of his death sans the coroner’s conduct of an examination into the manner or cause of death. But we can surmise that he was really suffering from an enormous problem or an extremely emotional stress that can’t be solved except by ending one’s life.

Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, to name a few, ended their lives by taking an overdose of illegal drugs for reasons that they can’t anymore push further their fame and status to greater heights after reaching the peak of their stardom. They were superstars during respective their times and it was very painful for them to be forgotten and disregarded. Anthony Bourdain, in an interview with CNN, admitted that he was taking heroin and maybe because of overdose, he lost his mind and eventually hanged himself.

This reminds me of my college professor in Psychology when she said that people who take their lives are mostly emotionally unstable or weak to confront enormous problems and are simply carried away without exerting efforts in finding safety nets to solve them.

But taking one’s life is not common in our country. Filipinos have very strong family ties and religious beliefs. Filipinos are emotionally strong, stable and would know how to find ways and means to solve enormous problems. One would not find a Filipino woman sulking and crying all day inside her room because of these. She would go out and seek solace and good counseling from friends and relatives. The Japanese are the opposite. They keep their problems to themselves. When they can’t bear it, they commit “hari-kiri”.

Very early in their childhood, the Japanese are trained to be on their own and to go to school by themselves. They don’t usually see and talk to their parents who arrive home already late at night from work. They don’t have strong family ties. And because of this, they are emotionally weak because they don’t have any good advises and proper guidance from their parents, friends, and relatives on how to confront and solve problems.

The Filipino is different and to some extent shrewd. I know of a person who has a multi-million pesos debt that he borrowed from a very close associate. He said that at first, he could not sleep because of this and was already going bonkers on how to pay it. He became thin and started losing weight. He was deeply bothered on how to pay his multimillion debts. But now, he’s alright despite not yet being able to pay his debts. He said he changed his miserable and hopeless attitude and instead of deeply thinking how and when he’ll pay his friend the debts, he now sleeps, eats well and let his friend instead think how and when he’ll be the debt.

MISCELLANEOUS: For those who enjoy listening to retro music from folk, jazz, reggae and R&B, Cape Zambo at Mayor Jaldon Street is the place to go. Live music starts on Thursday to Saturdays from 8-12 pm. The place serves dinner and also ice cold beer and drinks, food-watering pulutan and finger foods for groups of friends. Be there and bring along your friends and enjoy your nights away.