By Atty. Gilberto Lauengco, J.D.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

ATTY. GILBERTO LAUENGCO, J.D. is a lawyer, educator, political strategist, government consultant, Lego enthusiast, and the director of CAER Think Tank. He is a Former Vice Chairman of MECO, Special Assistant of NFA and City Administrator among others. His broad experience has molded his unique approach to issues analysis which he calls the oblique observation.

Did you know that yesterday, Nov. 14, 2023 was “Loosen Up Lighten Up Day”? Although the exact origin and founder of the day is the subject of debate and speculation, it is still an official day of celebration. You can look it up if you don’t believe me. People are supposed to celebrate this day by remembering to set a day to take things easy, laugh off problems, and let the small things slide. Filipinos used to be good at this.

With wars, economic downturns and ideological battles flooding our news sites and consciousness, stress and tension seem to be a common thing 24/7 in the whole world. This incessant overload of bad news seems to have also triggered a collective sense of anger.

In our country, our social media feed seems to be filled with people fighting each other online. From politics and ideology to even college basketball, people love to bash, insult and fight other netizens over the weirdest things and beliefs. Granted that some of these issues are very important, a constant state of anger and stress surely will not do our collective physical and mental well-being any good. With so much anxiety all around, a day dedicated to remembering to loosen up and lighten up seems to be a welcome way to have respite and relief.

Life today has its challenges and many things need to be addressed. Stressful things cannot be avoided but the art of downshifting is something that must be learned by many. One popular streaming series lately centered on the world’s blue zones which are areas where people live exceptionally long lives. Other than a healthy diet and physical activity, it was observed that residents of blue zones knew how to shed and handle stress and slow down. Studies show that stress is a killer and constant stress is a serial killer.

Yesterday, Nov. 14, 2023 was also world diabetes day (WDD). WDD was created in 1991 by the World Health Organization as a response to the growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. In the Philippines, 1 out of 14 or 3.9 million people have one form of diabetes. Diabetes is now the fourth leading cause of death for Filipinos.

There are many causes for diabetes such as genetics and diet but one particular cause for diabetes is said to be extreme stress. Like heart and other diseases, constant stress clearly leads to many health problems.

So, how does one handle stress? People all over the world have different formulas and methods. Many spend a day of reflection or just goofing off. If you can’t afford a vacation then just mope around. You can even try fasting for a day (to save on food). Some people just spend time with family and friends and reconnecting. Most just find the things that bring them joy. In other words, let’s make an effort to chill out.

Nov. 14, 2023 was also national pickle day. I could not find a way how to fit that in this article though.

This is my oblique but relaxed observation for the week.