Do you like to collect “souvenirs” when travelling? Like towels, soap and shampoos from hotels. Even coffee and teabags?
This natural inclination has gotten the better of two Pinoys in Hongkong when they got caught carrying the life jackets from a Cathay Pacific flight from Dubai.
A judge here Wednesday fined two Filipinos HK$2,000 (P10,700) each for taking with them life jackets from their Cathay Pacific flight from Dubai.
Tsuen Wan Principal Magistrate Andrew Ma imposed the fines on Edwin S. Antolin, 52, and Crisanto R. Ramos, 29, after they pleaded guilty to the charge of theft. The life jackets cost only HK$400 each.
There is a law against taking a life saving equipment from a plane. And there are warning signs posted in the plane itself (usually at the back of the seat if I’m not mistaken). These travelers must have thought they can get away with it.
I wonder how many souvenirs they have taken from places they have been to?
June 2007. R2C Corp voluntarily recalled 1.5 million wooden railway toys and parts from its Thomas and Friends wooden railway products line. The surface paint on certain toys and parts contained lead.
July 2007. The Philippine government ordered the pull-out of White Rabbit candies from store shelves. The candies tested positive for formalin, a formaldehyde solution well known as an embalming agent.
August 3, 2007. Mattel recalled Fisher Price toys worldwide. The toys contain excessive amounts of lead. In Australia alone, 43000 toys were recalled.
August 14, 2007. Mattel announced its second major recall of Chinese-made toys contaminated with lead paint. At the same time, it recalled millions of other toys whose small powerful magnets could come loose and be swallowed by children.
And then the owner of Chinese toy factory killed himself just days after his company copped a temporary ban from exports. He committed suicide. Or did he?
There was also the recall of cheap toothpaste which apparently contain unsafe levels of diethylene glycol (DEG).
September 2007. For the third time, another major recall from Mattel. This time in its Barbie accessories, including Barbie Dream Puppy House. The recall also include Big Big World 6-in-1 Bongo Band toys and Geo Trax locomotive toys.
With China being the manufacturer of 80% of toys worldwide, it wouldn’t be a surprise if there are more products out there that are not safe for children and adults alike. Even the much-loved McHappy Meal toys are made in China!
It seems inevitable not to have any China-made products and/or produce. From food to clothing to shoes to home appliances to electronic gadgets to anything-you-can-think-of, products from China abound.
Made-in-China equates to cheap and low quality and poor workmanship. I have proven this over and over again in electrical and electronic products. As an electronic technician, I have time and again witnessed how poor is the workmanship of products from this country. Almost always, the product is inferior. Disposable.
This is where I am proud of us Pinoys, as workers. Having worked in manufacturing for over eight years, I can proudly say that the workmanship of Pinoy workers are way beyond that of their Chinese counterparts. We pride ourselves in our skills. But I digress.
But why do people still patronise or buy products that are made in China? Because of the dollar factor. In these times where interest rates are sky high, an average Joe Smith is struggling to make ends meet. Besides, if you go to a shop (any shop for that matter), over half of the merchandise will be imported from China anyway. The choices are narrow.
I’m just wondering, if an average Joe Smith is struggling to make ends meet, how much more an average Juan de la Cruz? But that’s another story.
So China, what’s next to be recalled on your inferior list of products?
Here is my Aussie version of Bush.
It was spectacular looking at a moon with the red coppery glow. Last night’s lunar eclipse was the first time I have ever sighted the phenomenon. It was awesome looking at it in binoculars. You can actually see a bit of details of the moon’s surface. Although the viewing was a bit intermittent owing to the extremely overcast skies, we were still able to have good glimpses of this rare occurence.
The eclipse started at about 7:50 pm when the moon started to move slowly into the earth’s shadow. The clouds obscured the view so I didn’t really appreciate it at first. But the skies cleared at about 9 pm. We had good views since then. Just as the moon disappeared into the shadow, it slowly turned reddish. The glow was more of a red-orange than a bright red.
Later as the moon moved out of the shadow of the earth, we saw a bluish glow in the top most half of the moon while the bottom half was still red.
We were also following a live video streaming of the eclipse from the Springbrook Research Laboratory in Queensland at the Discovery Channel Australia website. The website was streaming live videos from two other sites, Talbot Observatory in Victoria and Southern Cross Observatory in Tasmania but Queensland offered the clearest views.
Our camera was not powerful enough to be able for us to take good photos but I was able to take screenshots of the video streaming from Queensland.
The next total lunar eclipse that can be seen from beginning to end after this one will be in 2011.